Release: If National wins, our climate and economy loses

A report out today showing the number of extreme weather events in New Zealand will double highlights the risk of a change of Government that plans to turn its back on climate change, Labour Leader Chris Hipkins says.

Our Atmosphere and Climate 2023 produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand says:

  • Over the last 114 years annual average temperatures have increased by 1.26C in New Zealand.
  • Eight of our 10 warmest years on record have occurred in the last decade.
  • The frequency of extreme weather events has doubled.
  •  More severe droughts that last longer will impact famers and food production.

“Cyclone Gabrielle destroyed farms, homes, and communities. People lost their lives and livelihoods. So it’s hugely worrying that extreme weather events like that are set to double.” Labour Party Leader Chris Hipkins said.

“To pull back on climate action now is bad for our economy, our farmers and communities and runs the risk of damaging our clean green brand our exporters trade on.

“National will increase New Zealand’s emissions by eight million tonnes and use all the money allocated for climate action to give million-dollar tax cuts to landlords instead. They’ll push action on methane emissions to next decade.

“It’s robbing from our children’s future to put money in the pockets of landlords and millionaires. It’s wrong.

“If National wins, our climate and economy loses.

“In contrast Labour has a plan that’s working. We’ve reduced New Zealand’s climate pollution for the last three years and are on track to meet our emissions budgets. We need to keep going.

“In this election we have a plan to go further. We’re committing a further $300 million in the Green Investment Fund, removing all coal boilers from schools and hospitals within two years and rolling out our 12-point plan to increase renewable electricity generation.

“Rather than fuel more housing speculation, our investments will grow high-wage jobs, support new industry, and save everyone money through cheaper power bills.

“With three days until the election National are yet to announce a single policy that delivers additional emissions reductions over what the Government is already delivering.

“National’s suggestion that they can replace New Zealand’s most successful climate policy, the Clean Car Discount, with a few extra EV chargers is laughable if it did not mean we would miss our first emissions budget.

“The coalition of cuts and chaos are a threat to our environment. ACT wants to repeal the Zero Carbon Act and Winston Peters is verging on climate denial. They would turn New Zealand from being a climate leader to laughingstock.

“New Zealand’s future relies on a stable climate. Investing in emissions reductions is good for our economy, the brand our exporters trade on and delivers our children the world they deserve to live in,” Chris Hipkins said.

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