Green Party launches climate change test bill

All new legislation would get put to the ‘climate change test’ under a new Members Bill launched by the Green Party today at the Federation of Asia-Pacific Green Parties Congress in Wellington.
The Climate Impact Disclosure Statement Bill will require all new legislation introduced to Parliament to be accompanied by a Climate Impact Disclosure Statement that outlines what impact, if any, the new legislation would be likely to have on New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions.

All new legislation would get put to the ‘climate change test’ under a new Members Bill launched by the Green Party today at the Federation of Asia-Pacific Green Parties Congress in Wellington.

The Climate Impact Disclosure Statement Bill will require all new legislation introduced to Parliament to be accompanied by a Climate Impact Disclosure Statement that outlines what impact, if any, the new legislation would be likely to have on New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is modelled on the Regulatory Impact Statements and Bill of Rights Act Reports that are currently presented to Parliament with new legislation.

“Climate change is impacting almost every aspect of our lives. This Bill will ensure that the government considers climate change in everything it does,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“A Climate Impact Disclosure Statement is a practical, low cost tool to make sure the impacts on the climate are always considered in a public and transparent way.

“The National Government’s current strategy for dealing with climate change is to ignore it. This Bill will mean that government can’t ignore how their decisions impact on our climate. It is pretty common sense.

“National makes too many decisions based on short term goals, like trying to win the next election. This Bill will ensure the Government at least considers the impact new laws will have on the long term, future generations, and the environment.

“New Zealand will soon have an internationally recognised emissions reduction target to meet by 2030 and we need to be considering how everything we do will help or hinder progress towards achieving our target.

“This Bill will make it harder for governments to pass laws that are bad for the climate. 

“New laws to open up more land for mining fossil fuels would probably lead to a critical Climate Impact Disclosure Statement, and new laws to encourage home insulation would likely have a positive Climate Impact Disclosure Statement.

“This Bill won’t stop National from passing laws that are bad for the climate, but it will mean people can hold them to account for those decisions.”

Climate Impact Disclosure Statements would be prepared by the Ministry for the Environment, which has relevant expertise, in a similar way to how the Treasury prepares Regulatory Impact Statements.

The Climate Impact Disclosure Statement Bill will be submitted to the Members Bill ballot.

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