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MPs pass Zero Carbon bill in New Zealand

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks in parliament during the third reading of the zero carbon bill.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks in parliament during the third reading of the zero carbon bill.

New Zealand passed the landmark legislation on climate. The legislation was proposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Interestingly, the bill received historic cross-party support. By passing climate legislation, the nation commits to reduce its carbon emission to zero by 2050. New Zealand will meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord.   

On Thursday afternoon, the nation passes the climate change response (zero carbon) amendment bill. The bill receives support from centre-right opposition National Party. None of their proposed amendment was accepted. Even than they throw their support late in the day. The bill passed 119 votes to one.

Climate change minister James Shaw made a statement in the context saying, the bill commits New Zealand to keep global warming below 1.5 degree. Furthermore, it provides a framework for the island country of nearly 5 million to adapt too, and prepare for climate emergency.

Shaw said “we’ve led the world before in nuclear disarmament and in votes for women, now we are leading again.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed the move and told MPs New Zealand was on the “right side of history”.

She said, “I absolutely believe and continue to stand by the statement that climate change is the biggest challenge of our time.” Furthermore, “undeniably”, our sea levels are rising and we are experiencing extreme weather events – increasingly so.  

The bill will enshrine a new 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target into law. Importantly, it requires the future governments to make plans to meet the target. Moreover, it will also establish a climate change commission. Its aim is to ensure future government’s plan and budget for adaption and mitigation.

The reduction target will work according to two separate plans. One will work on biogenic methane, which is produced by living organisms. Another one is for all other greenhouse gases.

Environment groups around the globe have applauded the legislation. They said that New Zealand was leading the world in its pragmatic and levelled approach to climate change.

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