New Zealand lawmakers recently approved a bill that commits the country to being carbon neutral by the year 2050. What does this mean exactly? This.
- The Zero Carbon bill aims to provide a framework to implement climate change policies. It’s in line with an international effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above preindustrial levels.
- New Zealand already generates 80% of its electricity from renewables, and that portion will be higher by 2035 as offshore oil and gas are phased out.
- New Zealand’s bill sets an ambitious target: to reduce all greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane, emitted by plant and animal sources) to net zero by 2050.
- When it comes to emissions of biogenic methane, New Zealand isn’t aiming for net zero. Instead, its goal is to reduce emissions by 10% below 2017 levels by 2030, and then by 24%-47% by 2050.
- Agriculture is the largest single source of greenhouse emissions in New Zealand, accounting for 48% of the country’s total in 2017. Methane emissions from ruminant animals made up 34% of its total emissions.”We have to start moving beyond targets. We have to start moving beyond aspiration. We have to start moving beyond statements of hope and deliver signs of action. That is what this government is doing and proudly so,” Ardern said last November. “We have made a choice that I am proud of, that will leave a legacy, and that I hope means the next generation will see that we in New Zealand were on the right side of history.”