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Climate Change Policy Summary - Kicking the Carbon Habit

James Shaw MP
James Shaw MP
james [dot] shaw [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
Read the full Climate Change Policy

We can avoid the worst of dangerous climate change if we act now.

Our Climate Change Policy is about improving the way we live and do business. We can reduce emissions and enhance our quality of life.

It's also about adapting to climactic changes that are already locked in, and doing our part to help other nations, especially our vulnerable Pacific neighbours.

Key Principles

The Green Party believes that:

  1. We must act according to credible science on climate change, which demands urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and sustained action to safely remove excess greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

  2. Māori economic, environmental and cultural interests, as provided for in Article II of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, must be protected to ensure that the effects of climate change and our response to it do not disproportionally impact upon the tangata whenua.

  3. We have an obligation to act for the sake of vulnerable people, the wellbeing of current and future generations, the integrity of diverse ecosystems and the retention of a viable biosphere. We must think long term and start now because of the extensive lag time in climate effects.

  4. A global agreement is crucial as a step towards concerted global action and we will play a constructive role in achieving a fair, effective, binding and ambitious agreement.

  5. We must accept our responsibility to reduce emissions and we will advocate an approach of 'contraction and convergence' of emissions internationally, towards broadly equal shares of emissions per person.

  6. Social equity and ecological sustainability must be inherent in the way we respond to climate change.

  7. A range of instruments is needed to meet the requirements of climate change mitigation and adaptation. These include legislation and regulations, economic instruments and policies supporting public investment, community action, and voluntary initiatives by both business and organisations.

  8. Pricing mechanisms will seek to ensure that polluting sectors will, within a short time, pay for the environmental and societal costs of their emissions, with no free riders.

  9. Pricing and other mechanisms will take into account New Zealand's international obligations and be designed so as to manage fiscal risk to the Crown in a responsible manner.

  10. Greenhouse gases differ in their origin, chemical nature, climate changing effects, persistence and assimilation by natural systems. Management of emissions ideally should recognise these differences.

  11. Adaptation measures should develop resilient economies and communities, and minimise the impacts of climate change on low income and vulnerable sectors of society.

  12. Transparency, credibility and education are essential if all stakeholders are to accept the policy framework and change their behaviour as a result.

  13. Government must invest in research and development into the production methods and mitigation technologies to enable a successful emissions reduction programme (especially in energy production, forestry, and agriculture).

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