Thursday, April 18, 2024

Pragmatic solutions to climate change

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Labour List MP Naisi Chen says ocean acidity had increased by 8.6 percent in the past 20 years. Times file photo Wayne Martin
  • By Naisi Chen, Labour List MP based in Botany

We all know climate change is happening – and faster than ever.

A Ministry of the Environment report found that ocean acidity had increased by 8.6 percent in the past 20 years.

Sea level rise in the coming decades will put thousands of kilometres of roads, water pipes and $26 billion worth of buildings at risk.

Swift action is necessary if we want to minimise the destruction this will inflict on our kids.

That is why we released a pragmatic proposal to reduce New Zealand’s agricultural emissions last week.

This proposal will set up our biggest export earner for future success and put New Zealand on track to meet our 2030 methane reduction target.

The proposal follows many of the recommendations provided by a partnership of agriculture sector groups and the Climate Change Commission, includes around farm-level emissions pricing.

By giving farmers control over their farming system, the proposal enables funding for additional research, tools and technology and incentives to reduce emissions.

This will help New Zealand farmers to not only be the best in the world but the best for the world; gaining a price premium for climate friendly agricultural products while also helping to boost export earnings.

Closer to East Auckland, another project that will help with our climate change agenda is continuing to take shape.

The Alliance Agreement for delivery of the next stage of Auckland’s Eastern Busway between Pakuranga Town Centre and Pakuranga Creek, including the Reeves Road Flyover, has been awarded.

By 2028 the busway will carry 18,000 passengers per day, rising to 24,000 passengers per day by 2048 – all enjoying the rapid 40 minute trip from Botany to Britomart.

With cars being another major source of emissions, projects like the Eastern Busway are critical to encouraging everyone to switch to public transport.

These are just two examples of the government’s extensive climate agenda.

With the Zero Carbon Act, 100% renewable energy target, Emission Trading Scheme overhaul and the Clean Cars Discount, we are committed to making policy for the next 50 years, not just the next five years.

Our children deserve that.

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