Climate change is the greatest threat to our people and planet. In order to address this major challenge, we need to make major shifts in the way we think about our economy. Climate change is a major priority for this government, and meeting the challenge must engage all sectors of government and our communities.
The recent Climate Strike shows how much people care and how important it is to do right by future generations. We must act now, and we are. We are making major shifts in the way we think about our economy and taking action.
We are achieving this through the Zero Carbon Bill. It is our way to legislate our promised action on climate change. It makes it binding for successive governments to fulfil our obligation to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Bill commits us to net zero carbon emissions and up to 47% reduction in methane emissions by 2050.
To get to net zero carbon emissions we must make big changes in every part of society. For industries like agriculture, we are working to include farmers in the emissions trading scheme. We are innovating with new technology and better farming practices so our agriculture leads the world in sustainability.
We are also investing in new industries which produce fewer emissions. One example is the development of gaming technology, which could be a billion dollar industry for our economy.
We are working hard to reduce our waste with the plastic bag ban and building more recycling centres. We are investing billions into Lets Get Wellington Moving, so we can get more people using low emissions transport like buses, trains and bikes. We are making it cheaper to buy more fuel efficient or electric cars. We have banned new oil and gas exploration, and we are investing in hydrogen production as a new form of energy.
We need to have a just transition when responding to climate change. It hurts people if we leave them behind and change things without considering the impact on communities. If we make changes without bringing people with us, the changes won’t stick and people will suffer.
The more we signal that this is important, the faster we can act. I am pleased that the people of Wellington Central are keeping us accountable with action like the School Strike for Climate.
We must act, and we are.