New Zealand's new carbon-cutting climate plans have been slammed by environmental groups for not doing enough on emissions from agriculture Photo: AFP/File
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Under-pressure New Zealand sets out carbon-zero plan

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New Zealand put forward a raft of carbon-cutting plans Wednesday, ranging from reduced car usage to making ebikes more accessible to meet its target of becoming carbon-zero by 2050.

But the proposals, which come ahead of the COP26 climate meeting of world leaders in Glasgow at the end of this month and are a forerunner to the government's emissions reduction plan next May, drew immediate criticism.

New Zealand is under pressure to do more to curb carbon emissions, which are increasing, but the discussion document made little mention of agriculture which contributes 48 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the document was "full of meaningless waffle" that did little to broach the conversation on reducing agricultural emissions.

Climate activists Generation Zero called it a "disgrace" that failed to meet "unambitious emissions budgets, completely ignores agriculture -- which makes up half of our emissions".

However, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said there was "an entire work program" dealing with the agricultural sector and "we didn't want to waste people's time by including things that have either already been consulted on or have other kind of engagement processes elsewhere."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the plans would reduce emissions and "can also create jobs and new opportunities for Kiwi businesses and our economy".

The document comes almost two years after New Zealand passed its Zero Carbon Act and a year after it declared a climate emergency.

Ardern has previously described action on climate change as a matter of "life or death" but has been called out by Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who accused New Zealand of being "one of the world's worst performers" on emission increases.

"People believe Jacinda Ardern and people like that are climate leaders," Thunberg said last month.

"That just tells you how little people know about the climate crisis. Obviously, the emissions haven't fallen. It goes without saying that these people are not doing anything."

Many of the initiatives contained in the discussion document are from the Climate Change Commission report presented to the government earlier this year, including a 20 percent reduction in the use of cars by 2035.

In the same period, it wants to reduce emissions from transport fuels by 15 percent, make public transport cheaper and more accessible, and introduce incentives for those on low incomes to buy electric vehicles.

Other ideas include the development of low-emission fuels, such as bioenergy and hydrogen, eliminating the use of fossil gas, reducing food waste and encouraging composting.

© 2021 AFP

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8 Comments

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Climate activists Generation Zero called it a "disgrace" that failed to meet "unambitious emissions budgets, completely ignores agriculture -- which makes up half of our emissions".

I'm wondering what their suggestions for reducing emissions from cows will be. Putting plastic bags on cows to capture their farts?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Yes, now it culminates to the real problem. Either we ‘die’ economically and with everything we have or are used to, just to give a few future generations the chances to live like poor vegetating nomads, or we keep it as it is and no more of so much future generations, nature etc. And sailing between those extreme options is rather difficult and will also only postpone it a bit on cost of lowering the average for the remaining time very significantly. Is that the right essence of that news? Probably it is…

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Isolate the whole country until 2050 might be the best option!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Carbon is essential to life. A greener planet is a good thing. Study up on the other side of the debate. Science is not settled on this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjlmFr4FMvI

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

The fact that they make such a big deal about her just strengthens the idea that most of this man-made global warming is BS.

It's certainly interesting to know that you see a young woman speak articulately on a subject she knows a lot about and decide on that basis to have completely the opposite opinion.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

So the 18-year-old can read a prepared speech. But what qualifications does she have? Why should we listen to her?

And why should New Zealand worry about Greta accusing them of being "one of the world's worst performers on emission increases".

Who cares if New Zealand increases emissions. They are in the middle of nowhere and I suspect they had very low emissions to start off with, why should they be expected to decrease emissions just like heavily populated and heavily industrialized countries.

It's all a show with her "How dare you!!!" and now "blah, blah, blah".

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The issue with this is that the Greens and Labour want to destroy the agricultural sector, which is the only thing that really makes NZ any money.

A few more years of Jacinda Ardern, and NZ will be the South Pacific's answer to Venezuela.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

AkulaToday  04:05 pm JST

The issue with this is that the Greens and Labour want to destroy the agricultural sector, which is the only thing that really makes NZ any money.

Why would they want to destroy that sector?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

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