The government of New Zealand has just enshrined their commitments to the Paris Agreement by approving a new piece of legislation which will require the nation to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
In a historic show of bipartisan agreement, the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill was passed last week in a 119-1 vote.
The legislation will now provide a framework for the nation’s citizens and governments to fight—and adapt—to the effects of the climate crisis during the coming decades. It reportedly also makes New Zealand one of the few countries in the world to approve legislation solidifying their commitment to the Paris Agreement.
“This is a historic piece of legislation and is the centerpiece for meaningful climate change action in New Zealand,” said NZ Minister for Climate Change James Shaw in a statement. “Climate change is the defining long-term issue of our generation that successive Governments have failed to address. Today we take a significant step forward in our plan to reduce New Zealand’s emissions.
“We as the elected representatives of New Zealanders must take the opportunity to act on climate change before the window closes. We’ve led the world before in nuclear disarmament and in votes for women, now we are leading again.
“The Bill had nearly eleven thousand written and oral submissions. The Committee heard from parents, students, scientists, farmers, academics, health professionals, activists, iwi, local government, and many more,” he continued. “This bill belongs to New Zealand, and together we have ensured that we shift towards a low emissions country that keeps us all safe.
“The budgets provide the pathway towards the 2050 target, and confidence for New Zealanders that we are moving towards a more climate-resilient future.”
(WATCH the inspiring speech below)
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