Green initiative addresses both climate and inequality

A long standing Green Party policy has been extended yet again in this year’s Budget. This will deliver warmer homes for thousands of people, lower power bills, and cut climate pollution.

“We are delighted to see that our long history of campaigning for climate action that makes people’s day-to-day lives better is reflected once again in this year’s Budget,” says Green Party spokesperson for energy, Julie Anne Genter.

“Year-after-year, the Government expands Warmer Kiwi Homes, showing that when Green Party solutions are put in place, they last.

“The climate crisis and high energy bills show why another boost to home insulation and community clean energy is so vital. Far too many families are struggling to pay the bills. That leaves them having to make impossible choices between heating their homes and buying clothes for their children.

“By reducing the energy needed to heat homes and make hot water, Warmer Kiwi Homes is massively improving the lives of people living in poor quality homes and making them healthier for whānau.

“Warmer Kiwi Homes dates back to 2009 when previous Green Party Co-leader, Jeanette Fitzsimons won an agreement from the government to insulate up to 180,000 homes. But it was only when we got into Government in 2017 that we could scale this up to really make a difference.

“We also welcome the expansion of funding for community and marae-based renewable energy projects. These kinds of local solutions help keep power bills down and build resilience in the energy system.

“There is no great mystery to reducing emissions from homes. We know what needs doing, we just need to do more of it and faster. For a start, the Government could extend Warmer Kiwi Homes even further to reach more families. It could also commit to putting solar panels on all suitable public homes. That would save people on their energy bills, as well as make sure they still have hot water if they are hit by extreme weather.

“The argument Ministers will make is that the money isn’t available. But that’s a political choice. If the Government was bold enough, it could collect the resources we need from those most able to pay and use that money to improve the lives of millions of New Zealanders. To do it, we need more Green MPs,” says Julie Anne Genter.

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