The Zero Carbon Bill – a crucial Bill for health
12 July 2018
The Zero Carbon Bill – a crucial Bill for health, and an easy way to submit
OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, working with other health groups, has released an online submission guide to help all New Zealanders to be heard on this critical piece of health legislation. Submissions close in one week, on Thursday July 19.
This Bill is named for carbon, but in reality, it is about health and fairness. The latest reported draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C strengthens growing certainty that 2°C of warming is a dangerous step for humanity, and for the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders. Submissions on the Bill are crucial.
OraTaiao co-convenor Dr Alex Macmillan adds that the opportunity for New Zealanders to have their voices heard on preventing further global warming - with worsening damage to the health of New Zealanders - is important because measures that prevent further warming also have poorly recognised benefits for health. A warming climate will impact most severely on those in our communities least able to adapt and manage: Maori and Pacifica; low-income households; children and the elderly. However, measures that decrease New Zealand's contribution to global warming have the potential to directly benefit the health of all New Zealanders. “This may be the most important piece of health legislation for our generation and for generations to come”.
“Well-designed climate action can create better health and fairness now and in future. Energy efficient homes can be warmer, drier and directly improve health; low carbon transport can clear the air and encourage more activity improving health; and shifting towards a plant-based food system can reduce cancer and fix our freshwater crisis. The Zero Carbon Bill can and should multi-solve for health and fairness” says Dr Macmillan. “Healthy climate law is fast, fair, firm, and Treaty-based. This is about all of us working together for economic resilience, fairness, justice, and better health for everyone.”
“All New Zealanders need to be aware that the Climate Commission has to set emissions budgets that rapidly reduce NZ’s domestic carbon, nitrous oxide and methane emissions. This is the chance for New Zealanders to make their voices heard and tell the Climate Commission that for our health’s sake, it should start immediately with measures that improve health. This is a win-win” says Dr Macmillan.
People can submit using the OraTaiao submission guide at https://zerocarbonbillhealth.org.nz/