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New Zealand far off track on climate change

A drop of merely 0.1 percent in climate pollution shows that the National Government is stalling on its commitments to tackle climate change in New Zealand.

Information released today by the Ministry for the Environment shows that in 2015 gross greenhouse gas emissions were 0.1 percent lower than in 2014.

This reduction was attributed to a fall in production resulting from drought and lower milk prices – not because of any proactive measures to reduce pollution.  

“National is like a possum stuck in headlights. It knows it has to respond to climate change – which means more intense droughts, floods and wildfires – but they’ve no idea what to do or which way to go,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“For National to meet its own climate targets, pollution needs to decline by more than two percent every year. This 0.1 percent drop shows they’re currently way off track.

“It’s a real missed opportunity. There are so many benefits that come with investing in a cleaner economy.

“Supporting the uptake of solar power would not only cut pollution but help lower household power bills in the long-term.

“Investing in new electric rail lines, particularly in Auckland, would not only cut pollution but give people a real alternative to being stuck in gridlocked motorway traffic.

"Yesterday's Budget had just a measly $1 million extra for a climate work programme. It's not surprising National's making zero progress on one of the biggest challenges of our time," said Mr Shaw.