Te Pāti Māori wants urgent transformative action

New Zealand’s first three emissions budgets, outlining the amount of greenhouse gases allowed to be emitted, have been published.

It precedes the emissions reduction plan which will soon be published.

While National is on board, Te Pāti Māori says it’s not good enough.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer of Te Pāti Māori called New Zealand’s emissions record “embarrassing”, saying the party did not support the government’s proposed emissions budgets, “because we believe they should be tighter and more ambitious”.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer

“The Te Pāti Māori are pushing for the government to immediately put a price on methane emissions, phase out synthetic fertilizers by 2025 and limit the number of cows.”

She and Rawiri Waititi met with Climate Change Minister James Shaw to clarify, “Aotearoa needs more urgent and transformative action to reduce emissions.”

“Aotearoa has the highest per capita methane emissions in the world. It’s embarrassing. Minister gives farmers free pass while punishing Maori by changing forestry rules. Farmers need support and help incentives to switch to regenerative agriculture, no false hope that things can continue as they are.”

Shaw said there was “a lot more to do, but getting these binding budgets in place is a critical part of our strategy to rapidly reduce the pollution that causes climate change.”

New Zealand has a net zero goal by 2050.

“To keep all future governments on track to achieve net zero emissions, the Zero Carbon Act established a system of five-year emissions budgets that would serve as stepping stones towards the 2050 goal,” said Shaw.

The announced binding budgets “set out the total amount of emissions that New Zealand must reduce over the next 14 years”. This must be satisfied by national action.

2022-2025: 290 megatonnes of greenhouse gas equivalent carbon dioxide (72.4 megatonnes per year)

2026-2030: 305 megatons (average 61 megatons per year) In principle.

2031-2035: 240 megatons (48 megatons per year) In principle.

How New Zealand will reduce emissions will be announced on Monday, May 16, with Shaw saying the plan “requires nearly all parts of government to act to reduce emissions across the country and to ensure that all New Zealanders benefit of transition”.

The national responds

National Leader Christopher Luxon said his party supported the budgets announced on Monday, but said “all options” should be considered.

“Climate change is a huge challenge. National is fully committed to achieving emissions goals, including net zero by 2050.

“Having agreed on the net emissions trajectory, the question now is how to reduce emissions. We need effective policies if we are to achieve our ambitious climate change goals.

“While we share the government’s commitment to reducing emissions, there are a range of ways to achieve net zero and we must consider each option.”

National’s website is currently outlining a five-point plan for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, outlining what it would do in government.

Priorities for National at COP26 would have been to set a target for methane and long-lived gases, to examine new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “rather than asking countries to reduce their food production”, to pursue agreements on the carbon market, to demand more from the world’s largest emitters and to adopt new technologies.

The last press release on climate change as a topic on the National Party website dates back to November 23 last year, titled “Farmers must have a say in greenhouse gas costs” .

Deputy Nicola Willis spoke about the emissions trading system during her pre-budget speech on Monday, saying: “New Zealand will need to put in place additional emission reduction policies in the years to come. to help achieve our goals in the way that makes the most sense for our economy and that protects New Zealanders’ standard of living as much as possible.”

“As with policies in all other areas, emissions policies must be thoroughly analyzed, include transparent measures of what they will achieve, and be backed by credible and practical delivery plans.

“We think it’s entirely possible that despite its good intentions, the government that dreamed up KiwiBuild could come up with emission reduction policies that don’t meet these basic tests.

“National will take a cautious approach before committing to any specific new emissions reduction initiatives that the government may announce in this budget. were rejected.”

Asked about National’s position, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said he would be even happier when it comes time to release the emissions reduction plan next week “to see if National supports them or not.”

He said National had “a habit of making statements about what kind of reduction it would like to see and emissions, but not backing it up with actions.”

Teresa H. Sadler