OECD highlights urgent need to green our economy

Today’s OECD environmental report has highlighted the urgent need for New Zealand to change direction and move to a low carbon, green economy, the Green Party said today.

The OECD has said that New Zealand has the second-highest level of emissions per unit of GDP in the developed world. We also have the fifth-highest emissions per capita.

“The New Zealand economy is highly carbon intensive and this can’t be sustained if we want to also play our part in addressing climate change,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“In short, the OECD has found that New Zealand’s growth model is hitting environmental limits.

“The OECD has recommended we strengthen the Emissions Trading Scheme to set a meaningful price on carbon, set a date to begin pricing agriculture’s emissions, and address high and rising carbon pollution from the transport sector.

“Our former Environment Minister, Simon Upton, is telling us that we’ll miss our Paris climate targets if we don’t change direction.

“The last nine years of the National Government have led to our carbon emissions rising dramatically, despite our 2015 pledge in Paris to reduce them. Our rivers are more polluted, and our biodiversity is under increasing threat.

“We need to change the Government if we want to put our country on a green growth pathway — one that protects our environment and provides good paying jobs in the cleantech sector,” said Mr Shaw.

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