New Zealand targets carbon neutrality by 2025 amidst climate emergency

December 3, 2020 by  
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New Zealand has joined 32 other nations in formally acknowledging a climate emergency. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described climate change as “one of the greatest challenges of our time” and pledged that New Zealand would have a carbon-neutral government by 2025. But not all New Zealand governmental officials agreed. The Green Party and the M?ori Party supported the motion, which noted an “alarming trend in species decline and global biodiversity .” The National Party and Act Party opposed it. Related: Japan aims to be carbon-neutral by 2050 Since New Zealand ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016, its good intentions have not been matched by progress in reducing emissions . New Zealand is among 12 out of 43 industrialized countries whose net emissions increased between 1990 and 2018. In the last 20 years, the country’s net emissions rose 60%. “The irony is, even under Trump , the U.S. is going to have made better per-capita reductions than we have,” said Bronwyn Hayward, a political science professor at University of Canterbury, as reported by The Guardian . National Party leader Judith Collins called the emergency declaration virtue signaling. “We think it’s all very well to declare an emergency but there’s no proper plan in place as to how to deal with it,” Collins told Radio New Zealand. She pointed out that only about 10% of the government’s vehicle fleet is electric . The vehicle situation is one of the topics Ardern plans to address. In the future, the government sector will only buy electric or hybrid vehicles. Coal-fired boilers will also be phased out of public service buildings. “This declaration is an acknowledgement of the next generation. An acknowledgement of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now,” Ardern said. “It is up to us to make sure we demonstrate a plan for action, and a reason for hope.” Via The Guardian Image via Dan Freeman

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New Zealand targets carbon neutrality by 2025 amidst climate emergency

New Zealand aims for grid completely powered by renewables by 2035

November 8, 2017 by  
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New Zealand’s new prime minister has ambitious goals to seriously slash carbon emissions . Jacinda Ardern, who became prime minister in late October, wants to transition the grid to 100 percent renewables in less than 20 years. Her ultimate goal for New Zealand is zero carbon emissions by 2050. New Zealand’s 4.7 million people already obtain over 80 percent of electricity via sustainable sources, according to Bloomberg . But Ardern – now the world’s youngest female leader – seems to think they can do even better. She wants the country to move over to obtaining electricity completely from renewable energy by 2035. Related: New Zealand river world’s first to obtain legal status as a person The move won’t be without its challenges. New Zealand generates around 60 percent of their power from hydropower , according to 2016 figures. But when dry conditions cause lake levels to drop, gas and coal have helped out. Without those fossil fuels , electricity consumers could experience price hikes. But the country still has made a lot of progress towards the ambitious goal; in the winter of 2016, renewable energy generation actually peaked at 93 percent, according to Bloomberg. Ardern hasn’t put out full details of her plan to get New Zealand to a carbon-free status. She has suggested an independent commission to help meet the 2050 goal. New Zealand’s independent advisory body Productivity Commission has an inquiry into transitioning to a low carbon economy. Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson told Bloomberg Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar .” Contact Energy chief executive officer Dennis Barnes also pointed to solar – and batteries and electric vehicles – as technology that could help New Zealand move towards a greener future. Via Bloomberg and Futurism Images via Depositphotos and Good Free Photos

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New Zealand aims for grid completely powered by renewables by 2035

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