Yes we can! Green climate plan shows 40% target by 2030 is achievable

The Green Party has launched a climate plan today showing it’s possible for the Government to set a much more ambitious emissions reduction target that New Zealanders can be proud of. 

The Green Party has launched a climate plan today showing it’s possible for the Government to set a much more ambitious emissions reduction target that New Zealanders can be proud of.

In July, the National Government set one of the world’s weakest and most embarrassing climate targets – an 11 per cent reduction on 1990 levels – complaining that anything more is too difficult because of the agricultural sector.

“Our climate plan shows how, with real leadership and a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, the Government can reduce our emissions by a respectable 40 percent below 1990 levels,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“This plan shows that agriculture is not the roadblock to achieving a responsible climate target - the roadblock is a lack of political will.  

“Green Party research shows we can achieve this respectable 40 percent target by 2030, even if we give agriculture five years to transition before the sector has to take climate action.

“This plan recognises that agriculture must eventually do its fair share. The five year window, before requiring agriculture to reduce its emissions, is an attempt to overcome a political roadblock while keeping us on a course to achieving the most important task - reducing our emissions.”

Documents released by the Green Party today show the Government had tried to set an even smaller target of just 6 per cent, proving its default position has always been to do as little as possible.

“The embarrassing revelation that National only wanted a 6% reduction target shows that John Key and the Government want to do as little as possible to reduce our emissions and stop climate change,” said Shaw.

“New Zealanders love our environment. It isn’t the Kiwi way to throw our hands in the air and do nothing when faced with a challenge that risks damaging our environment, which we love.

“John Key has proven himself unworthy as a leader that can tackle this issue. We need to build a cross-party approach if we want to get real action and show real leadership.” 

The Green Party plan shows New Zealand can achieve a 40 percent target by implementing the following cross-sector policies:

A Climate Commission that assesses the Government’s progress on meeting targets and provides advice on improvements
A Green Investment Bank that will stimulate growth in low-emission economic activity
A revenue neutral ‘Climate Tax Cut’ that puts a price on greenhouse gas emissions, but recycles the revenue back to householders and business via tax credits

In addition to these cross-sector policies, the Government can also implement sector specific policies for electricity, transport, industry, waste, and forestry.

“We cannot justify sitting on our hands and waiting for others to lead. It’s our responsibility to set an ambitious climate target and to create a plan to meet it,” said Shaw.

“We can have a more prosperous New Zealand now, and leave a stable climate for the future.

“Action on climate change is a win-win for people and the planet, now and into the future,” said Mr Shaw.

Document released under the OIA showing Government wanted a 6 percent target

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