New Zealand needs a nation-wide plan to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide) to protect our native plants and animals from the worst effects of climate change. The Zero Carbon Bill will put us on the path to action, and it needs everyone’s support.
Climate change is already hurting nature. We’ve recently seen:
- kororā/little blue penguins washed-up dead all over Northland and Auckland because increased easterly swells churned the water so they couldn’t hunt
- albatross eggs in Dunedin that didn’t hatch due to warmer weather
- dotterels on the west coast and at Ohiwa Harbour trying to move inland as the rising sea claims more of their nesting grounds
- kōkako chicks killed when nests are washed away in storms like ex-cyclone Gita
- myrtle rust (a tree fungus) spreading around Aotearoa attacking mānuka, pōhutukawa, and rātā.
If we continue putting out emissions at the current rate, we are heading for a much hotter world. Humans and many native species have never lived in a world like that.
But there’s good news: we’re closer than we’ve ever been to getting action on climate change.
The Zero Carbon Bill will see us get to the long-term goal of being “net zero”. “Net zero” means everything is balanced up again – the amount of gases people put in the air (emit) is the same as the amount of gases people store in plants on land and in the ocean. Existing gases will just keep being recycled around our planet in a more sustainable way. This will help nature be more resilient (cope better) to climate change.
How cool would it be to see Aotearoa become “net negative” in the future too – releasing less gases than is being taken in!
How can I show my support?
Option 1: Do the Zero!
Strike the pose, and post your picture up on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) with the hashtag #ZeroCarbonBill and tag @kiwiconservationclub and @ministryfortheenvironment so we’ll see it too.
Option 2: Build your Zero Carbon World
Use Lego (or other blocks), Minecraft, or recycled construction materials (like cardboard boxes) to build a 3D model of what your place would look like in a Zero Carbon World.
Your place might be as big as your region, town/city, or your suburb/neighbourhood. It could also be as small as your school/centre, or your home and backyard. It could be a special place you go to regularly, or one you visit only sometimes too.
Here is an example of a low carbon Kapitī Coast that Jake Roos and friends created in April 2018 for inspiration: