Paris has delivered a landmark agreement to cut emissions from 2020 sending a strong message that more ambition and action is needed to combat climate change, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.
“More than 200 countries worked hard on the international negotiations and now it’s time for New Zealand to focus on the domestic actions required to meet its obligations.
“The inclusion to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees is more ambitious than many expected when the talks kicked off a fortnight ago. Credit has to go to our Pacific neighbours for the strong lobby they have put up to have this more ambitious target included.
“So far, the National Government have not met the emission reduction targets that they set. This needs to change. We can no longer get by on a wish and a prayer. We must get proper planning such as carbon budgeting in place or we face huge financial risk.
“We also have to give serious attention to what good workforce planning looks like and what changes are needed to meet targets.
“We hear a lot about the opportunities and jobs that can be created as we cut emissions, so it makes sense that we focus on the job skills that people will need.
“This agreement is not just about cutting emissions, it’s also about making sure people are looked after as the world changes.
“New Zealand also needs to seriously think about the agricultural impact.
Continuing to leave it outside of the ETS and not addressing agricultural emissions is untenable.
“Labour has signalled that we want to have a scientifically-led examination of methane, its relative impact on climate change and how we should account for it. These are questions that we can no longer avoid or delay,” says Megan Woods.