New Zealand’s parliament on the 7th by 119 votes in favor, 1 vote against the result, voted to pass the “zero carbon emissions” bill. The bill sets a number of targets for New Zealand to address climate change, including zero greenhouse gas emissions for non-agricultural industries by 2050.
The bill sets a phased reduction target for biomethane emissions in New Zealand’s agricultural sector: biomethane emissions will fall by 10 per cent by 2030 and between one quarter and one-half in 2050;
Biomethane is mainly derived from the gastrointestinal gas of ruminants, mainly through animal hiccups and farting. Biomethane emissions from biomesantoe in ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep account for about 35 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gases, the German news agency reported.
Under the Bill, New Zealand will establish a Climate Change Committee to advise the Government on the achievement of the objectives set out in the Bill.
In addition, the Government of New Zealand has committed to planting 1 billion trees over the next 10 years and to achieving the National Grid’s full use of renewable energy by 2035.
There is consensus
The “zero carbon emissions” bill was submitted to Parliament in May by New Zealand’s prime minister and Labor leader, Jesinda Ardern, and was unanimously supported by all parties.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Ardern said New Zealand’s passage of the bill was a “proud choice” to tackle climate change and that “we are on the right side of history”.
Environment and Climate Change Minister and Greens leader James Shaw said MPs had listened to scientists, farmers, activists and others and received a total of 11,000 submissions on the draft, which is an important step in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas reduction effort to help ensure a safer environment for future generations.
The opposition National Party says it will seek amendments to the bill if it wins the 2020 parliamentary elections.
However, some have expressed doubts about how to implement the emissions reduction targets. Andrew Hogard, vice-president of the New Zealand Farmers’ Federation, has previously said that the only way to meet the emissions reduction target sits is to reduce production, “and we don’t know how to achieve that level except for mass slaughter of livestock.”
Dairy products and wool are New Zealand’s main exports. Dairy exports account for 20 per cent of New Zealand’s total exports, Reuters reported. New Zealand has a population of nearly 5 million, with 10 million cattle and 28 million sheep, respectively. (Guo Wei) (Xinhua News Agency Special Report)