Our Seas Our Future (OSOF) is pleased at the announcement of the Zero Carbon Bill presented by the Government today. Once enacted, this key piece of legislation will lock New Zealand to its commitment of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
OSOF has been an active voice in addressing the global climate crisis through our Climate Action Now brand, and overall mission to protect New Zealand’s coastal and marine ecosystems.
Climate change, and the clear association it has with rising sea levels, has been a contributor to the loss of marine ecosystems, increasingly adverse weather patterns, and frequent coastal flooding. From 1993 to 2016 the global average sea level rose at an average rate of about 3.4 mm per year. This legislation commits New Zealand to doing its part in halting this path towards the destruction of ecosystems in our marine and coastal environment.
OSOF further supports the establishment of the independent Climate Change Commission to monitor and regulate New Zealand’s progress in reaching net zero emissions by 2050. OSOF is hopeful that this Commission, with climate change as its priority, will ensure the success of this initiative.
Although we are pleased with the current actions being taken, we are disappointed to see a split gas approach, which separates methane gas from carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. The legislation has taken a light approach to methane, establishing a goal of only 10% reduction by 2030. We see a cause for concern with the impact this may have on the overall effectiveness of this legislation.
OSOF Spokesperson Emily Fenichel stated. “We believe that this bill is definitely a step in the right direction, and we hope to see continued action by the Government to reduce New Zealand’s impact on global climate change.”
As strong advocates for marine and coastal sustainability, OSOF is supportive of the Zero Carbon Bill, and hopes to see continued effort by the Government and the Climate Change Commission to foster its success.