Fight against climate change to involve youth

Labour Party proposes Climate Commission

Jacinda Ardern

Wellington, September 8, 2017

Labour will set a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and take the necessary steps to achieve it.

Climate change is my generation’s nuclear-free moment. We have to take our place in the world to combat this problem, we have to show leadership.

For too long, we have set targets and not done what’s needed to achieve them. That’s why Labour will set up an independent Climate Commission to examine what reductions can practically be achieved by each sector and recommend emissions reductions targets.

Targets in Law

We will also set emissions reductions targets in law and be accountable to the public for them.

The Emissions Trading Scheme is at the core of delivering on our targets. We have always had a policy of an all sectors, all gases regime and that remains our policy.

For agriculture, a gradual introduction of the price signal from the Emissions Trading System, starting with giving the sector 90% of emissions free, will help bring emissions down without hurting agriculture’s contribution to the economy.

Government-backed science has made impressive advances in methods to reduce farm emissions without reducing output. We will also ensure that farmers operating at best practice are recognised and directly credited for the reductions they achieve.

Involving youth

I also want to see children get involved in the fight against climate change, so we will establish a Youth Climate Change Challenge.

Children from Year 7 will be able to take part in projects to tackle emissions in their communities. Each year, I will invite the young people with the best ideas to come to parliament to their ideas to tackle climate change.

Labour will also back further research into Climate Change and the transitions required to achieve our targets by establishing a Transitions National Science Challenge.

National Science Challenges are supposed to be asking the big questions of our time – this is one of the biggest questions of our times.

We know that we must do our part, however small, in the global effort against climate change but there are also huge opportunities here to create jobs and wealth in low-carbon industries.

We must ensure a just transition for workers in high-emissions sectors to clean jobs, and support industries that are carbon sinks, such as forestry.

Jacinda Ardern is Leader of the Labour Party of New Zealand.

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