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Forest & Bird backs the Zero Carbon Bill, calls for more

Forest & Bird is welcoming the target to keep warming to no more than 1.5 degrees in the Zero Carbon Bill announced by Government today, but disappointed the price of agreement was special treatment for agriculture.

"We are strongly backing 1.5 degrees because this is the limit required to protect nature and people from the worst effects of climate change," says Forest & Bird spokesperson Geoff Keey.

"That's what our native species need, and it's what our children and grandchildren need."

"We are disappointed the draft of this landmark legislation offers special favours to the agriculture lobby. If agriculture doesn't play a bigger role in reducing warming, everyone else in New Zealand will have to work twice as hard. Climate change demands we do everything we can, not pick and choose.”

“When the Government consulted New Zealanders last year, 91% of those who submitted called for a net zero all gases target. New Zealanders will need to make their voice heard as Parliament considers the Bill.”

The Bill requires the Government to write emission reduction plans that take into account a just transition for workers, regions, iwi and Māori, and wider communities.

“We are pleased to see a just transition, but the Bill also needs to take into account the impact of our climate change response on nature. Adaptation plans proposed under this Bill need to acknowledge the role nature plays in making New Zealand more resilient. We will be pushing for these changes at select committee,” says Mr Keey.

"Our native species are already in serious trouble, and climate change could be the nail in the coffin. But we know healthy native forests, oceans, and coastlines are essential for soaking up carbon and protecting us from floods and storms. Protecting nature should be at the heart of our climate response."

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