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Quakers Support Call for Zero Carbon Act

The Religious Society of Friends - Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri
Aotearoa/New Zealand

20 March 2017



The Religious Society of Friends Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri, known as Quakers, call upon parliament to enact a Zero Carbon Act that would commit New Zealand to being zero carbon by 2050.

Quakers support youth organisation Generation Zero, who have written a draft proposal for a Zero Carbon Act, that would establish a legal framework designed to accelerate New Zealand’s action to address climate change.

Quakers are hopeful that solutions to climate change can be implemented worldwide, and see this as an important step to achieving that.

“We commend New Zealand’s participation in the Paris climate agreement that commits the world to limiting global warming to under 2 degrees celsius. However, the emissions trading scheme has so far been an ineffective tool for reducing emissions.” said Jimmy Green, on behalf of Quakers.

“We believe that a legally established target and legal framework for reducing our emissions are critical if we wish to do our bit under the Paris agreement.”

Quakers support a Zero Carbon Act similar to the UK Climate Change Act that has three main pillars:

1. A zero carbon target, and pathway to get there (carbon budgets), enshrined in domestic law;
2. A legal requirement for the government to put forward regular plans showing how it will meet the carbon budgets;
3. An independent climate commission to inform and advise on targets and plans, and hold the government to account.

“When you want to get something done, it’s really important to know how you’re doing against your goal and what the next steps are, but right now with climate, we don’t. By making a strong commitment and setting up a legal framework for accountability, we’ll be able to ensure that current and future governments are taking a long-term view.” Mr Green said.

“We think, by enacting a Zero Carbon Act, New Zealand can send a clear message to the rest of the world that we take this seriously. That enables other countries to take it seriously as well.”


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