A landmark climate legislation, proposed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has been passed in New Zealand's parliament, with historic support from all parties, committing the nation to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and meet its commitments under the Paris climate agreements.
The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) law was approved on Thursday afternoon with the parliamentary opposition massively supporting the proposal, despite the fact that the modifications it proposed were not accepted. The bill had 119 votes in favor and only one against.
"New Zealand has placed itself on the right side of history in the battle against climate change," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, after members of parliament adopted a measure to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
The official also noted: “I absolutely believe and continue to defend the declaration that climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Without a doubt, the sea level on our coasts is rising and, without a doubt, we are experiencing more and more extreme weather events ”.
"Science tells us the impact there will be on flora and fauna and the spread of disease in areas where we have not seen them before," Ardern completed.
The law tries to keep the emission of gases below 1.5 degrees, as stipulated by the Paris agreement. It includes a Green Investment Fund endowed with some 66 million dollars (57 million euros), a plan for emissions trading and the inclusion of the agriculture sector by 2025. In addition, it also contemplates the planting of one billion trees by 2028.
The reduction target will have two separate plans. One for biogenic methane, or that produced by living organisms, particularly cattle, which is intended to be reduced by 10% by 2030, and another for all other greenhouse gases.
The legislation has been applauded by environmental groups around the world, who said New Zealand leads the world in its pragmatic and level approach to climate change.
With information from: