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The Green Party’s motion without debate on declaring a climate emergency in New Zealand goes against the bipartisan approach to climate change, National’s Climate Change spokesperson Todd Muller says.

“As it stands there is absolutely no clarity as to what declaring a ‘climate emergency’ would mean in practice, what its legal standing is, or what it would actually require of the Government and the New Zealand public.

“If the Government thinks an emergency should be declared they should move the formal Notice of Motion themselves and front on the detail, rather than leaving it to a coalition backbench MP.

“At first glance this looks like nothing more than political posturing and virtue signalling. This is especially true in light of the Minister’s recent comments that he anticipates emissions to continue to rise until the mid-2020’s.

“The National Party has been working constructively with Climate Change Minister James Shaw to build consensus on an independent, non-political, Climate Change Commission.

“We have supported the Zero Carbon Bill through its first reading, but we have very serious concerns with the target level set and want to see changes at the Select Committee.

 “Our kids deserve more than empty slogans and highly charged green-rhetoric. They deserve real and concrete plans to drive our emissions down.

“National will not support this non-debatable motion.”

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