National has supported the Zero Carbon Bill through its final reading, but is committing to improving the Bill further should we earn the right to govern in 2020, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“National proposed a series of changes that would have ensured the Bill is in line with National’s climate change principles of taking a pragmatic and science-based approach, but unfortunately the coalition Government voted down all of our amendments.
The changes we proposed were:
- That the target for biological methane reduction be recommended by the independent Climate Change Commission.
- That the Bill makes clear the stated aim of the Paris Agreement is for greenhouse gas reduction to occur in a manner that does not threaten food production.
- To strengthen provisions that consider the level of action being taken by other countries and allow targets to be adjusted to ensure we remain in step with the international community.
- To strengthen provisions for the Commission to consider economic impacts when providing advice on targets and emissions reductions.
- That the Bill ensures the Commission considers the appropriate use of forestry offsets, and has regard for the carbon sink represented by crops, riparian planting, and other farm biomass.
- That emissions budgets be split between biogenic methane and carbon dioxide as recommended by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.
- That the Bill includes a greater commitment to investment in innovation and research and development to find new solutions for reducing emissions.
“We have taken a bipartisan approach to climate change but we will continue to fight for the changes we think will make the law better.
“Should National earn the right to govern in 2020 we will make these changes in our first 100 days in office. We will ensure the Bill drives the right long-term changes and factors in the wider impacts on New Zealand’s economy, jobs and incomes.”