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THE ZERO CARBON BILL

FORMALLY KNOWN AS THE CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSE (ZERO CARBON) AMENDMENT BILL

SUBMISSIONS ON THE ZERO CARBON BILL ARE NOW CLOSED.

Thank you so much for all your support and all your submissions. A huge amount of people submitted using our template, and they are making a difference at select committee.

You can stay involved by watching select committee debates on the Environment Committee Facebook Page and on our Facebook Page.

Read more on what is in the latest version of the bill here:

THE BILL HAS THREE MAIN PARTS:

To give you a better idea of what some of this information means, we're including some opinions on this page. The opinions of School Strike 4 Climate will be highlighted in red, and opinions of others will be highlighted in orange. Everything else is factual.

Read the actual legislation

NET ZERO EMISSIONS

It says it in the title: the goal of the bill is to make New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions net zero by 2050.

The Bill says that this must be done in order to limit global heating to within 1.5°C

Note that this is net zero, meaning that all of the emissions we make (from cars, factories etc) minus all the carbon that is sequestered from the atmosphere (the carbon that trees suck up) is equal to zero.

Except for methane

 

The target for methane in the Zero Carbon Bill is a 10% reduction by 2030, and a 24-47% reduction by 2050.

2

Methane is

30x

stronger than CO

Methane stays in the atmosphere for

12

years

2

CO  stays in the atmosphere for

20-200+

years*

About the IPCC Report

The entire planet reaching net zero by 2050 is the deadline set out in the IPCC report in order to keep global heating within the 1.5°C threshold.

The report says that staying below 1.5°C

is essential to avoid irreversible climate change with disastrous effects.

The "11 years to save the world" is the timeframe to halve our carbon emissions, to be on track for net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

*Carbon dioxide breaks down in a complicated way. significant portions can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Click here for more info

 

WHY IS METHANE TREATED DIFFERENTLY?

Methane mostly comes from cows burping and farting. Since agriculture makes up a reasonable portion of New Zealand's economy, and there currently isn't viable large-scale methane reduction technology in cows, we're stuck with this.

Agriculture makes up around 6% of New Zealand's GDP.

This is still in line with the minimum standards for the IPCC: They recommend a 35% reduction by 2050 

We think that there should be a stronger methane target. As a richer country with foundations in agriculture, we should have a stronger target.

Some say that the 10% reduction in 10 years is too strong, will cost farmers lots of money, and could result in needing to cull cows.

CARBON BUDGETS

The government must publish a budget for the total amount of carbon dioxide that the country can emit in a five year period.

This will work through the (complicated) Emissions Trading Scheme (or ETS), which means that companies that emit will be able to buy carbon credits from companies that have a positive impact (forestry)

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE EMIT MORE THAN THE BUDGET?

Practically nothing. The government has to declare it happened, but no one gets fined, no one gets in trouble.

We think that if no one gets in trouble, there is no incentive to actually reduce emissions. If future governments don't care about emissions, nothing will be done.

Some say the law was written like this because the government at the time emissions limits were exceeded would not have been the ones that made those emissions.

CLIMATE COMMISSION

The Climate Commission will be a group of seven experts who monitor the progress of reducing emissions advise the government on how to set the carbon budgets. 

In the current form of the bill, this group can only make recommendations to the government, they can't make decisions themselves.

Some say the climate commission should be able to make decisions without the government's approval, as these experts. (This is how the Reserve Bank works to protect the economy)

We also think that the climate commission should include a youth advisory panel, as young people are the ones who will be most affected by the impacts of climate change.

HOW TO MAKE A SUBMISSION

Zero Carbon Bill submissions are now closed. However, for any submission to parliament, There is no age limit. View our template for some ideas on what to write, then make your submission using the links below. 

WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR SUBMISSION

Check out our submission template. 

Your submission can include anything, but the best submissions are once that include specific examples of what parts of the bill you want to be changed. Personal stories can be a great way to drive your point home, as long as they are relevant.

The Generation Zero guide will make things very clear and easy!

You don't have to be a policy expert to make a submission! They're want everyone to have their say.

Our friends at Generation Zero have also put together a handy submission guide to help you make your submission

 

DO INCLUDE:

  • Specific things you want to be changed in the bill, e.g. "I think the zero carbon target should be reached by 2040, not 2050"

  • Reasoning for this, e.g. "Even though 2050 is in line with the IPCC report, we need to show leadership so other countries will reach the goal in time"

  • Comments on how the bill will affect you

  • Unique comments, as well as stating what might seem obvious

DON'T INCLUDE:

  • Hate speech

  • Unspecific arguments, e.g. "this target isn't good enough"

  • Bad language

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Then share it with your friends, young and old!

Elbow Your Elders

this page was made with love by @elliot.blyth