Environment News

‘ZERO CARBON ACT’ OF NEW ZEALAND

Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Environment [Paper-II]: Issues and concerns related to environment, its legal aspects, policies and treaties for the protection of environment at the National and the International level

News

  • The Parliament of New Zealand has passed Zero-Carbon Act, which will commit New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, as part of the country’s attempts to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.
  • The Act is not a separate legislation but is an amendment to the existing Climate Change Responses Act, 2002.

Context

  • According to New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment, the country is well positioned to undertake steps to mitigate climate change.
  • Its capacity to generate electricity from renewable resources is at 80 per cent, and it is working towards phasing out the use of offshore oil and gas.
  • It is working towards investing over $14.5 billion to better its public transport system and walking and cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years.

About the Act

  • The idea for the bill was first proposed by the youth-led climate organization, Generation Zero.
  • The Act is titled Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act.
  • It provides a framework by which New Zealand will be able to develop and implement climate change policies in line with the Paris Agreement to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Key Aims of the Act

  • Reduce all greenhouse gases (except methane) to net zero by 2050
  • Establish a system of Emissions budget
  • Establish an independent Climate Change Commission
  • Reduce emissions of biogenic methane (produced from biological sources) up to 24-47 percent below 2017 levels by 2050 and to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2030

Biogenic Methane

  • The Act proposes separate targets for biogenic methane.
  • It is because methane is a short-lived gas and degrades into the atmosphere over the decades even though it is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
  • Biogenic methane is emitted by livestock, waste treatment and wetlands.

[Source: Indian Express]

About the author

Talent KAS