Friday May 24, 2019
Generation Zero and School Strike 4 Climate are launching their Elbow Your Elders campaign today to coincide with the strikes happening around the country. Both groups recognise the need for the Zero Carbon Act to be more ambitious and strong enough to tackle climate change.
“We encourage all youth to get involved in the biggest youth movement Aotearoa has ever seen!” says Lisa McLaren, Zero Carbon Act national campaign convener. “This is an opportunity for youth to talk to their elders about why climate change matters to them and ask them to advocate for more climate change action.”
The campaign is launching at each of the strike events around the country. Molly Doyle, School Strike 4 Climate, says that “Over the next few months we will send videos, make submissions, visit rest homes, take photos, have many cups of tea and stale cake, all with the aim of getting our elders to care and act on climate change.”
Youth interested in being involved can sign-up at www.elbowyourelders.nz and are encouraged to ensure that their efforts in advocating for political action on climate change continue long after the strikes. Both groups have also collaborated with White Man Behind a Desk who has released a promotion video to introduce the campaign to those to get started which can be found here!
The submission process for the Zero Carbon Act is now open and this campaign is being used by both groups to show that the influence of youth is not to be underestimated and that they will continue to put pressure on MPs to ensure that the Zero Carbon Act secures a just and equitable future for all.
About the Zero Carbon Act
History of the Zero Carbon Act
The Zero Carbon Act framework, developed by Generation Zero in 2016, has been steadily gaining support throughout the last three years. Most major political parties have indicated support for some of the key elements of the act.
The Zero Carbon Act also has support from environmental groups such as Forest & Bird and WWF-New Zealand, 14 leading New Zealand aid agencies including Oxfam NZ, businesses such as Z Energy, and youth political parties including the Young Nats, Young Labour, Young Greens, Young New Zealand First and Young Māori Party.
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright’s final report also recommended the policy framework of the Zero Carbon Act and has received backing from organisations such as Dairy NZ, Westpac, and BNZ.
On 12 October 2017, attendees at the Australia/NZ Climate Change & Business Conference in Auckland, including representatives from the business sector, NGOs, and central and local government, unanimously passed a resolution in support of the concepts outlined in Generation Zero’s Zero Carbon Act proposal.
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, and significant reductions on biogenic methane, in line with the IPCC’s 1.5°C report.
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 the government to prepare a National Climate Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation plan to address these climate risks, which include sea level rise, droughts and extreme weather events.
How is it different from the UK’s Act?
A key difference from the UK model is the introduction of a ‘two baskets approach’ for the different greenhouse gases. Short-lived gases (such as methane) do not need to go to zero and will have separate targets under the Zero Carbon Act. Another difference proposed by Generation Zero is that the targets in the Zero Carbon Act will apply to domestic emissions only (the ‘firewall principle’).
For more information see the Zero Carbon Act summary: www.zerocarbonact.nz/zca-summary/
About Generation Zero
Generation Zero is a nationwide, volunteer, youth-led organisation formed in 2011 to champion solutions for a zero carbon Aotearoa New Zealand.