REPORT: A challenge to our leaders

A Challenge to Our Leaders is a call for leadership on climate change. It lays out why we believe New Zealand needs a plan to move off fossil fuels for our energy and transport. It highlights other countries that already have a plan - like Denmark. And it shows that our Government currently has no plan at all.

What does the report show?Click to download the report

The report draws together information from a wide range of sources plus new analysis covering the linked challenges of climate change and energy security, the opportunity and responsibility New Zealand faces in responding to these challenges, and an assessment of the Government's current response. Key points include:

  • Global institutions and business leaders are openly calling on governments to plan to achieve zero net carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, in order to stay within a safe global 'carbon budget'.

  • Other countries are leading the way and showing what can be done – Denmark, for example, is already implementing a cross-party plan to phase out fossil fuels for all energy (including transport) by 2050.

  • Building a clean energy economy is achievable, affordable and offers big economic opportunities for New Zealand.

  • Current Government policy will keep New Zealand hooked on fossil fuels; official projections show carbon pollution continuing to grow to 2030, with current policies shaving just 0.4% off total emissions compared with taking no action at all.

The Report has endorsements from climate scientist Dr James Renwick and energy expert Professor Ralph Sims, both of whom are lead authors of the IPCC reports on climate change.

Why produce this report?

Generation Zero believes that climate change and our energy future should be critical issues this election. The recent 5th Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change highlighted the urgent need for action to protect the future young people will inherit. This report is a reality check on New Zealand's response and aims to spark debate about the direction the current Government is taking us.

We'll be releasing further reports soon that will expand on how we can build a clean energy economy to phase out fossil fuels.

What is Generation Zero calling for?

Generation Zero is calling on all political parties to commit to reducing carbon pollution and putting in place a Clean Energy Plan that will see New Zealand phase out coal, oil and gas for all our energy needs by 2050.

This means: 

  • Developing a comprehensive strategy for transforming our energy system by reducing demand and transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources.
  • Implementing a suite of immediate measures – such as vehicle fuel economy standards, shifting transport funds towards public transport and cycling, and repairing the price on carbon.

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