26 Aug 2017

Greens want binding climate legislation in first 100 days

9:39 pm on 26 August 2017

The Green Party want to pass a law to make being a net zero carbon economy legally binding.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw speaking after Budget 2016.

Green Party leader James Shaw Photo: RNZ/Elliott Childs

Leader James Shaw outlined the policy in a minor party leaders debate on TV3's The Nation this morning.

Mr Shaw said the Zero Carbon Act would make it legally binding for New Zealand to be a net zero carbon economy by the year 2050.

He said it would be instituted with its first 100 days if it was elected to government.

"[It] would re-organise all our our efforts around the economy into a high value, clean tech, high wage economy and it would ensure that New Zealand is a leader in the fight against climate change worldwide.

"If we are to treat climate change like our generation's nuclear free moment, we need to back that up in law," Mr Shaw said.

"This is what real action on climate change looks like."

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern said Labour has already committed to legislating its targets in law and would put in place carbon budgeting and a Carbon Commission.

National Party leader Bill English said National was happy with its commitment to the Paris Accord and was playing its part in the global effort to combat climate change.

"The Greens have finally got around to some policy which is recognisably green, which is good," Mr English said.

He said hitting the Paris Accord target was going to be pretty challenging.

"That's why we're spending a lot of time helping evolve the technology with the government announcing it's going to ensure a quarter of its fleet are electric vehicles in four or five years."

Mr English said National was ploughing money into finding the technological solutions on farms, supporting and maintaining the emissions trading system.

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