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Z urges business, cross-party support for Climate Act

27 July 2017

Z urges business, cross-party support for Climate Act

Z Energy today urged businesses and all political parties to back a recommendation to enshrine carbon reduction targets in law and set carbon budgets to enable clear measurement.

The New Zealand Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, today released a report recommending the establishment of legislation similar to the UK Climate Act which was passed with cross-party support in 2008 and which has been replicated by multiple countries since.

The proposal contains four elements:
Setting emissions targets in legislation
Setting clear and measurable carbon budgets for the country
Implementation of policy to ensure compliance with carbon budgets
Establishing an independent Climate Change Commission to set targets and provide expert advice.

Z Chief Executive Mike Bennetts said with the New Zealand Government’s commitment to the Paris Accord, it was now vital to build a clear, stable plan that set measurable targets and provided all parties with certainty.

“As a company whose products account for about eight per cent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gases, Z backs this proposal and calls for other businesses to also publicly back it.

“Hope is not a strategy. We’ve got a lot of work to do to meet our current commitments, let alone exceed them. Climate change is bigger than business and bigger than politics. This proposal is a sensible, pragmatic approach which provides an opportunity for all Kiwis – including businesses and politicians - to come together around a clear carbon reduction plan.

Under the UK’s policy settings, over the period 1990 – 2015 the UK’s carbon emissions decreased by 38 per cent. Over the same period New Zealand’s emissions increased by 64 per cent.

Mike said there was a lot in the proposal that followed simple good business practice: replicating international best practice; setting measurable targets; and ensuring accountability against clearly-stated and well-understood commitments.

“In backing this recommendation, I also want to acknowledge the leadership of Generation Zero, which has been advocating for something like this for some time, most recently through its call for a ‘Zero Carbon Act’. Younger people appear supportive of this proposal across the political spectrum and are acknowledging the need for unity in responding to the climate change challenge.

“We should heed this message.”


ends

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