We’re living through a climate emergency. What we do to act on climate change is critical – and that starts with the Zero Carbon Bill (ZCB)* which will set the path to a net zero carbon future.
Now is your opportunity to tell our elected members what you would like to keep or change in the Bill.
How to write a submission:
Start by introducing yourself. Personal stories and perspectives will help make your submission more unique, and therefore give it more weight.
State what you support in the bill, what you would like changed, and why.
Your submission can be as short or long as you like. Think about how you communicate your point effectively to somebody who knows nothing about you.
Take time write your submission well. Formally written, logical submissions with facts and references to back them up will be better considered and therefore hold more weight. Quality over quantity!
Specify if you would like to speak at a public hearing and add your name. The Environment Select Committee will not be accepting anonymous, or un-named submissions.
- Refer to the Zero Carbon Bill as it is formally known - the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill.
Submit your submission by 5pm Tuesday 16 July via www.parliament.nz/ZeroCarbon
What does speaking at a public hearing mean?
During the select committee process, people and organisations also have the chance to speak directly to the Environment Select Committee at a hearing. This is a powerful way to make sure our politicians directly hear what you have to say in your submission.
You can opt out of speaking at any point. However, if you don’t initially opt in to speak on your submission you won’t be able to change your mind.
Five things to protect about the ZCB
It embeds the Paris Agreement 1.5 degree target in our law. To our knowledge, this is a world first, and it will see that every mechanism built out from that target acknowledges the reality of climate change, and the IPCC science.
It creates robust targets for reducing all greenhouse gas emissions, based on the best scientific evidence available.This includes separate targets for biogenic methane and all other gases, with the goal of at least a 24% - 47% reduction in biogenic methane and achieving net zero all other gases by 2050. The mention of at least a 24% - 47% reduction in methane means it could go further than this goal.
It creates a framework for five-yearly emissions budgets, providing both short term and long term certainty about how to achieve our reduction targets.The framework for these budgets makes it clear that NZ needs to respond through real reductions, with tight conditions around the use of offshore credits.
It establishes an independent Climate Change Commission. This will be essential for ensuring robust advice on what our emissions budgets should be and how to stay within them.
- It requires us to start planning now for climate change adaptation.
Five areas to strengthen the ZCB
Establish permanent Māori representation on the Climate Change Commission. This would enable the Climate Change Commission to establish stronger links with iwi and hapū and give effect to Te Tiriti obligations when managing our climate response.
Set the strongest possible target for methane.Methane needs to reduce more sharply in the short term, and by 2050 we should be aiming for net zero across all greenhouse gases. We can achieve this if we set ourselves the goal now and create the plans to get there.
Give the Climate Change Commission the final say on emissions budgets. Currently the Climate Change Commission will be able to recommend emissions budgets, and the Minister for Climate Change will have the final say. By strengthening the Climate Change Commission’s powers we can guarantee the emissions budgets will be based solely on the best available science and will be a robust, durable, non-political mechanism for our zero carbon transition.
Require all politicians and senior public servants to take emissions reduction plans into account when making other decisions.The climate can’t wait. We need emissions reduction plans to become effective across the whole of government as soon as they are finalised, rather than risking delays from sector-specific implementation.
- Increase accountability by making point 4) enforceable through Judicial Review. The public deserves to be able to hold decision makers to account. A strong Zero Carbon Act will pave the way for our climate safe future – but to be fully effective, it needs to be enforceable.
Agree with these? Have something to add? Either way, make sure the Environment Select Committee hear it!
Make your submission at www.parliament.nz/ZeroCarbon by 5pm July 16.
*formally known as the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Response Bill - you'll want to refer to it this way in your submission.