The climate emergency is the defining issue of our time, and more and more countries are officially committing to tackle this immense issue in the coming decades. Today, New Zealand has just declared a climate change emergency and pledged to have a carbon-neutral government as soon as 2025.
A motion tabled in the New Zealand parliament called attention to “the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health through flooding, sea level rise, and wildfire,” also citing an alarming trend of the decline of species and biodiversity.
According to Jacinda Ardern, the country’s prime minister, “This declaration [of climate change emergency] is an acknowledgment of the next generation. An acknowledgment of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now,” she said. “It is up to us to make sure we demonstrate a plan for action, and a reason for hope.”
To act on the climate emergency, Ardern said the government will shift to buying only electric or hybrid vehicles, and all 200 coal-fired boilers in the public service’s buildings will be phased out to become carbon neutral in 2025. The plan is for the government to become an example of what’s possible in other sectors of the economy. New Zealand has also pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.