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Pacific calls on NZ leaders to Strengthen Climate Bill

Wellington, New Zealand – 350 Pacific made a formal submission to the New Zealand Government’s Environment Parliamentary Select Committee on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, led by the Pacific Climate Warriors (PCWs) based in Wellington, New Zealand.

The New Zealand based team had initially organised a ‘Submission Party,’ scheduled for Sunday 14 July with partners GenZero and School Strikes For Climate NZ, however, due to abysmal weather conditions, the Submission Party was turned into an online forum. The online forum worked to the advantage of the coordination team in New Zealand, as it allowed for participation from the wider PCW network, with members joining in from the Pacific, as well as from as far afield as the Pacific Climate Warriors US team, based in Portland, Oregon.

“We live in a time where even the best-laid plans will be altered, because the balance in nature has been disrupted,” shared Mary Moeono-Kolio, 350 Pacific Coordinator based in Wellington.

“But the movement will not be deterred. If anything, the resilience of the Pacific people will become more prominent as the effects of climate change become more evident, because it is a matter of survival. This may be our only chance and come hail or storm, we will continue raising our voices to see an end to the fossil fuel industry that is destroying our island homes.”

Although the Submission made by 350 Pacific indicates strong support for the Zero Carbon Bill, the PCWs do not believe this Bill in its current draft will fulfil its purported outcomes. In their submission, the following amendments, in addition to others, are emphasised:
• A single target with effective carbon budgets
• Recognise and honour Māori as Tangata Whenua and as Te Tiriti o Waitangi partners
• Targets, accountability and policy plans to ensure the ZCA is enforceable
• A national adaptation plan for climate displaced communities
• Prohibition of international credits
• Inclusion of international aviation and shipping

“While it is commendable to see the New Zealand government initiating this Bill, in order for it to be effective, it needs to serve the very people who are affected,” shared Fenton Lutunatabua, 350 Pacific Managing Director.

“These are moments which will go down in history, because it could make or break the future for many Pacific Island people. We are raising our voices in unison, calling for leadership which spans beyond the lifetime of who is in charge. This is the true test of leadership, which will indicate whether the government will accept the recommendations that serve the people, or if it is just another mechanism to secure the votes of the youth - the youth who are striving to secure a planet crucial for their survival.”

You can read the full submission here: PCW Submission on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

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