Release: Progress on climate will be undone by Govt

New Zealand’s good work at reducing climate emissions for three years in a row will be undone by the National government’s lack of ambition and scrapping programmes that were making a difference, Labour Party climate spokesperson Megan Woods said today.

New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published by the Ministry for the Environment yesterday shows three consecutive years of emissions reductions, with the biggest reduction in the last year coming from the energy sector.

“National’s axing of the Clean Car Discount, which made EVs more affordable, could increase emissions by approximately 1100 to 2200 Kt CO2-e by 2050 alone,” said Megan Woods.

“The work done to help business transition away from using coal to more climate-friendly technology has been axed. Scrapping the scheme could add 3 megatonnes of climate pollution over the period 2026-2030, and another 4 megatonnes from 2030 to 2035.

“The Government is now hanging its hat on increasing renewable energy supply with zero ideas for how we are going to drive uptake of that energy on the demand side.

“National is twiddling its thumbs when we need action now. Meanwhile, Energy Minister Shane Jones has said he’s inviting coal mines to come and plunder our conservation estate again. You’d have to have had your head in the 1950s to think that’s a good idea.

“We’ve seen proposed job cuts to research-based agencies like the Ministry for the Environment, NIWA, Callaghan Innovation, and the Department of Conservation in recent weeks. The Government’s aversion to evidence and research will cost us dearly in the long-term.

“These callous cuts to jobs and climate programmes will take us backwards in our work toward a greener future,” Megan Woods said.

“The time for action is now, not years in the future. Labour’s plan was making a real difference for our emissions profile now, but National is making giant steps backwards.”

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