28 April 2016

Environment Commissioner calls for bold leadership on climate change

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has called for bold leadership on climate change. 

“In New York last week, 175 countries including New Zealand signed the Paris Agreement”, said Dr Jan Wright. “Now we need to deliver.”

Today the Commissioner provided advice to Parliament in her submission on the Emissions Trading Scheme. 

Dr Wright has repeated her call for Ministers to consider the economic and financial risks of climate change. 

“New Zealand needs to take this seriously. The Governor of the Bank of England is worried. So are the leaders of the G20 countries. Climate change threatens financial resilience and long term prosperity.” 

The Commissioner says that the Emissions Trading Scheme is not enough. 

“The ETS must be strengthened, but there is so much more to do.

Many of our laws and regulations have been set up with a different world in mind, and need to be scrutinised through a climate change lens.” 

In her submission, the Commissioner highlights a number of examples.

It may seem minor, but the parking spaces for apartments that are often required in city plans encourage car ownership and discourage the use of public transport, as well as increasing the cost of housing. 

The Commissioner also said that we cannot continue to ignore the agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. 

“What we do about these emissions is very challenging – that is why I am investigating this difficult area.” 

The Commissioner has made four recommendations to the Minister for Climate Change Issues and the Minister of Finance. 

Her submission can be found here.

ENDS 

For more information, contact Dan Ormond 027-251-9849.