INDEPENDENT NEWS

Labour Releases New Zealand’s First Climate Manifesto

Published: Mon 25 Sep 2023 12:07 PM
New Zealand faces a stark choice this election – vote for Labour to continue to confront the climate emergency with eyes wide open or bury your head in the sand alongside Christopher Luxon.
“New Zealand has an incredibly positive future if we take the climate seriously with real actions to keep reducing our emissions,” Chris Hipkins said.
“Earlier this year I made some reprioritisation decisions to make sure that we were focused on the right things, and that what we were doing would reduce emissions. Today, I’m setting out our plan to make more progress on our goals.
“We’ve reduced climate pollution for three consecutive years, passed the Zero Carbon Act, reformed the emissions trading scheme, and put New Zealand on track to achieve its first emissions budget.
“Labour’s plan, set out in our climate manifesto, continues the momentum we’ve built and is critical to successfully cut emissions further.
We are committing to:A second Emissions Reduction Plan that puts New Zealand on the path to achieving the Second Emissions BudgetEstablishing a Minister for Just Transitions to oversee New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions economyDelivering Empowering New Zealand: a 12-point plan to increase renewable electricity generationSupporting the growth of NZ Green Investment Finance by investing a further $300m, bringing our total commitment to $1bnMaking climate change a research and development priority with an initial investment of $50 million, and a further $20 million specifically to tackle challenging parts of the economyRemoving diesel generators from all schools,Reforming the Emissions Trading Scheme to drive gross emissions reduction, as recommended by the Climate CommissionIncreasing our resilience as we build back from the severe weather events earlier this year and delivering a new climate adaptation and managed retreat framework to support local communities to plan, prevent and re-build.
This is on top of the commitments we have made so far:Doubling the number of homes with solar panels though a new $4,000 rebate.Removing all coal boilers from schools and hospitals within two years.100,000 more heating and insulation installations through Warmer Kiwi Homes.EV charging hubs every 150 – 200 kilometres on main highways.600 to 1000 EV chargers at community facilities in smaller rural communities.$18,000 rebate for energy efficient deep retrofit of existing homes.$7,000 rebate for partial retrofits like double glazing and insulation.$3,000 rebate for households who electrify and move off gas.Support for low emissions trucks to help our freight industry decarbonise.Ensuring all farms measure and manage their emissions by the start of 2025 and reward on-farm sequestration, including adding riparian planning, wetlands and other types of vegetation to the Emissions Trading Scheme.
“For a long time, climate change has been seen only as a moral issue,” Chris Hipkins said.
“It’s now much more than that – it’s a growing economic and government credibility issue, and it’s crucial New Zealand has the right decision-makers in place so that we do not miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to get this right.
“Our trade and tourism opportunities depend on it, as does the wellbeing of our communities.
“Labour will continue to take the climate seriously, with action, rather than flannelling the public with hollow promises and faux sincerity.
“New Zealand has come too far to turn back but that’s what would happen with National at the helm. National voted against recognising a climate emergency, they want to push action on methane back to next decade and restart offshore oil and gas exploration. And they’ve not announced a single new policy that reduces emissions.
“Not only are the climate policies National is taking into the election simplistic and opaque, they take us backwards by more than six million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.
“National’s plan to rely only on the Emissions Trading Scheme without complementary policies is the most expensive and disruptive way to try and reach New Zealand’s climate goals.
“Using Emissions Pricing to achieve the same outcomes as the Government’s Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund would require an ETS price of at least $180 – nearly three-times higher than it currently is.
“That would mean everyone would pay at least 40 cents on a litre of fuel, which would be devastating for families. All to fund tax cuts for property speculators.
“As well, some of our biggest manufacturers would face downscaling at that price, costing jobs and investment.
“Climate Commission modelling also shows high reliance on Emissions Pricing would mean an extra 400,000 hectares of new exotic carbon forest by 2050 – which is equivalent to all land used for sheep farming across New Zealand. In contrast, Labour will limit the amount of exotic afforestation caused by the Emissions Trading Scheme.
“A vote for Labour is a voice for future prosperity and control over our own lives. A vote for National is burying our heads in the sand,” Chris Hipkins said.

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