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The Government’s Announcements Making This A Bad Week For The Climate In Aotearoa

“The Government has made a series of announcements this week which are bad news for the climate in Aotearoa”, says Jessica Palairet, Executive Director at Lawyers for Climate Action NZ.

“The Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Transport released earlier this week deprioritises the climate, which is mentioned only two times in the entire document”.

“The Draft GPS does not attempt to align with the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan. Reducing transport emissions is critical if New Zealand is to meet its Emissions Budget and its international legal commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce net emissions to 50% below gross 2005 levels by 2030”.

“The Government seems to still be relying on the Emissions Trading Scheme to do all the heavy lifting in New Zealand’s policy toolbox to reduce emissions. But unless the Emissions Trading Scheme is reformed and made fit-for-purpose, it isn’t going to do the job.”

The Government’s lack of meaningful commitment to reducing emissions was underlined today with the introduction of the Fast Track Consenting Bill.

“We appreciate the desire to improve the resource consenting process. But this Bill hands extraordinary power over to Ministers to approve projects that could be disastrous for the planet - likely resulting in more extraction of fossil fuels.”

“Any new developments must be undertaken alongside communities and with expert environmental input. Considerations around environmental harm must not be sidelined.”

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“What we’re seeing is a Government whose actions aren’t meeting its rhetoric on New Zealand’s climate targets. The new Government appears to be putting all its climate eggs in the Emissions Trading Scheme, but without making the changes necessary for it to have any meaningful impact on our level of emissions.”

More information about Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc. is available at


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