The Green Party today announced a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change including replacing the Emissions Trading Scheme with a Kiwi Climate Fund.
“We’re the first generation that will feel the effects of climate change, and the last that can stop it. We have a responsibility to act, and the Green Party has a plan to do it,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.
“The Green Party’s first priority in government will be passing the Zero Carbon Act and to set up an independent Climate Commission, to reduce climate pollution to net zero by 2050.
“The Kiwi Climate Fund will put a simple, transparent charge on all climate pollution and use the revenue to fund tree planting around the country.
“The Fund’s remaining surplus will be returned to every New Zealander, aged 18 and over, every year as a dividend. We estimate this could be $250 per person in 2020.
“Farmers will no longer be exempt from reducing climate pollution. We will introduce a charge on agricultural emissions, starting in 2020, which is estimated to reduce the average dairy farm’s profitability by less than 2 percent, or less than 6 percent when combined with the Green Party’s proposed clean rivers nitrate levy. Farmers will be able to reduce this cost by planting trees on their land.
“An independent Climate Commission will ultimately advise governments on the charge to put on emissions. By 2020 I expect the charge on carbon dioxide to be around $40 per tonne, and $6 and $3 per tonne for nitrous oxide and methane emissions from agriculture.
“No farmer I’ve talked to wants their child to inherit a world with longer droughts and drier rivers. Agriculture can no longer be exempt from reducing climate pollution; farmers need to be part of the solution.
“Global demand for low-emission food, fibre and material is going to boom and our farmers have the potential to become world-leading producers of sustainable high-value food and fibre.
“We’ll ensure Government walks the talk by directing the Super Fund and ACC Fund to completely divest from fossil fuel companies, so that pensions are not dependent on economically risky and environmentally toxic investments.
“The Kiwi Climate Fund sits alongside a suite of other practical Green Party policies, including investing in clean buses and trains, safer cycling, creating a $100 Green Infrastructure Fund, 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, our $210 million Sustainable Farming Partnership Fund, and our commitment to end coal mining and deep sea oil drilling,” Mr Shaw said.