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200 businesses, communities, leaders call for climate action

Two hundred businesses, communities and Kiwi leaders call for climate action

WWF-New Zealand and Generation Zero today delivered an open letter signed by over 200 New Zealand businesses, community organisations and leaders to climate minister James Shaw.

The letter congratulates the government on setting “a new, bold, ambitious goal of getting our country to net zero emissions by 2050” and expresses confidence that this goal is 100 per cent possible.

The signatories pledge to keep “rising to the challenge” of moving to a clean energy future, and offer their support to government in building the “architecture for a fair, equitable, just transition to a safe climate future for all New Zealanders”, like the Zero Carbon Act.

WWF-New Zealand CEO Livia Esterhazy said “Today, New Zealand businesses, communities and leaders have spoken as one. We know that together it’s possible to cut our emissions to net zero by 2050. Now is the time for government to build the legal and policy framework to ensure that this happens, and to make sure that the transition is fair and just for all New Zealanders.”

“Two years ago, we delivered another open letter on climate change to the previous climate minister, Paula Bennett. It was signed by 65 businesses, community groups, and influential Kiwis. We’re blown away to have more than three times as many signing on this time. That shows just how passionate we have become in this country about this critical issue.”

Generation Zero’s national Zero Carbon Act convenor, Lisa McLaren said “After pushing for a new climate law for the past two years, we’re thrilled to have this support. It’s incredible to see the mayors of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Whanganui, Gisborne and Hutt City all speaking out, alongside businesses and community groups big and small. Kiwis up and down the country are doing their bit to ensure a safe climate future.

“Tomorrow, the government will be beginning a consultation on the proposed new law that will become the Zero Carbon Act. We hope that all those who are inspired by this letter’s huge, unprecedented statement of unity, hope and ambition will take the time to make a submission in the next six weeks. Young people will be the hardest hit by climate impacts and we are calling on young people to have their say to protect our future.”

Meridian Energy’s chief executive Neal Barclay said “While New Zealand remains small in global terms we need not underestimate how powerful it is to work as individuals, organisations and as a society to be part of the solution to take action on climate change. That’s why Meridian is one of many businesses supporting the need for a Zero Carbon Act.”

“Showing Meridian’s support means we believe we can and must act on the opportunity to create a prosperous future for our customers, communities, our country, and the planet.”

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council said “Now’s the time to kick climate pollution out of Aotearoa, across all sectors, including our buildings. That’s why a comprehensive climate change-busting Zero Carbon Act is absolutely necessary, and is great news for our businesses, for our whānau, for the New Zealand environment, and for everyone who wants to breathe fresh air and swim in unpolluted water.”

Louise Aitken, CEO of the Ākina Foundation said "The Ākina team are proud to be supporting Aotearoa's zero carbon future. We believe that impact has the power to transform New Zealand's economy, with social & environmental innovation key to unlocking a sustainable future for our land, our people and our communities."

Kath Dewar, managing director of GoodSense said "We signed to say 'Kia kaha on climate action'. It's time to Act! As customers we love climate action - and as citizens we need it. Now."

Adelia Hallett, Forest & Bird climate advocate, said “We’ve recently seen albatross eggs that don’t hatch due to warmer weather, kōkako nests washed away in floods, and korora starving due to increased storms. Climate change is adding to the enormous pressure on our native wildlife. That’s why we absolutely support this call for the Zero Carbon Act.”

-ends-

Notes

Read the open letter here

• See the list of signatories here

• Learn more about the Zero Carbon Act here

• Find out more about the government’s consultation process here

About WWF-New Zealand:

WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.

• WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. We aim to do this by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

• WWF has been active in New Zealand since 1975.

About Generation Zero

Generation Zero is a nationwide, volunteer, youth-led organisation formed in 2011 to progress New Zealand toward a zero carbon future. www.generationzero.org

About the Zero Carbon Act

What is the Zero Carbon Act?

The Zero Carbon Act is a legal framework based on the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008. It requires governments to reduce New Zealand’s emissions year-on-year and plan towards a long-term target: zero net emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases by 2050 or sooner.

How does it work?

The Zero Carbon Act will require future governments to set a pathway of five year ‘carbon budgets’ on track to the zero carbon target, and produce clear plans to meet these. It will establish an independent Climate Commission to provide expert advice on targets and policies and to monitor the Government’s progress.

Will it do anything else?

The Act will also require a National Climate Risk Assessment updated every five years, a climate change adaptation programme, and transparent planning and reporting on New Zealand’s contributions to climate action in other countries.

For more information see the Zero Carbon Act summary: www.zerocarbonact.nz/zca-summary/

For more FAQs see: www.zerocarbonact.nz/faq/


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