Zero Carbon Act campaigners welcome Environment Commissioner’s endorsement


Press Release (joint statement), 7 March 2018


Generation Zero, WWF New Zealand, and Forest & Bird are welcoming the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s endorsement of a Zero Carbon Act for New Zealand, which aligns very closely with the Zero Carbon Act proposal launched by Generation Zero in April 2017.


Commissioner Simon Upton released the report ‘A Zero Carbon Act for New Zealand’ today, in support for the establishment of a climate law containing the key elements of the UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act. Generation Zero’s Zero Carbon Act proposal is based on the same UK law and shares these key elements – adapted to account for the differences between the UK and New Zealand.


Lisa McLaren, national convenor for the Zero Carbon Act campaign, said “Commissioner Upton’s detailed look at the required policy framework is well aligned with our proposal, not just in terms of the nuances in policy, but in the need for cross-party support in Parliament to get this done.”


“It is encouraging to have our policy proposal validated by this report, and it shows that what we have been campaigning for over the last year is vital to a safe climate future for all New Zealanders”


David Tong, WWF-New Zealand campaigner, said “This report is an important contribution to the national conversation that we all need to have as the government prepares to introduce the Zero Carbon Bill. It confirms that creating a climate commission, setting a long-term goal, and giving us a plan to get there is key to unlocking a safe climate future for all Kiwis.”


“What’s more, this report shows that the new Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, shares his predecessor Jan Wright’s support for the Zero Carbon Act model, which she articulated clearly in her final report ‘Stepping stones to Paris and beyond: Climate change, progress, and predictability’. Not one but two successive Parliamentary Commissioners for the Environment have backed the Act.”


Adelia Hallett, Forest & Bird Climate Advocate, said: “It’s critical that New Zealand gets stable, comprehensive climate policies in place to minimise the impacts of climate change on people and nature, and to ensure a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy.


“The Zero Carbon Act, which climate minister James Shaw will introduce into Parliament later this year, is a major step towards doing that, and the support of Mr Upton is a signal to the rest of Parliament that they should get behind it too.”