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Caritas: Emissions Reduction Plan Must Go Further

Caritas welcomes the government's first emissions reduction plan and the general cross-party support for long-term carbon budgets that start to bring down our carbon emissions.

"A strong, committed carbon reduction plan is long overdue," says Caritas Engagement Manager Roger Ellis, "but initial assessment of the Plan's highlights suggests there's more detail to come and a lot more work to do."

"For the sake of the poor and the planet – we'd like to see ambitious action that would get New Zealand to a carbon neutral economy by 2040."

It's significant that the timing for release of the Emissions Reduction Plan – with emissions Budgets extending to 2035 – be just a few days before the annual financial Budget. This kind of planning is indicative of the long-range planning and intergenerational foresight needed to make a healthier home for our children and mokopuna.

"Our development partners in the Pacific have been noticing climatic changes that been affecting their daily lives for the last 2-3 decades, and we have been documenting their stories since 2014 through our Oceania environment reports. These stories include with marginalised communities within Aoteaoroa New Zealand bearing the brunt of the first wave of climate-induced change: such as water shortages in Northland, extreme weather blocking roads along the Whanganui River, and sea level rise impacting South Dunedin."

'We won't have a viable economy in the long term if we don't reduce emissions and look after our land and waterways. We owe it to the next generation to take action now to safeguard the wellbeing of the planet," says Roger Ellis.

We all have a part to play and we need to do our best to minimize carbon emissions and assist those most severely impacted by climate changes – including vulnerable communities here and overseas hit by coastal erosion and inundation, extreme weather and long-term climate change impacting basic food and water resources.

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