Voting with a Climate Lens: what it is and how to do it

We are in an unprecedented time with many challenges to securing a safe and equitable future for all. Especially for young people like ourselves, this upcoming election presents a key opportunity to showcase our resilience and determination to advocate for decisive action towards the future we want and deserve. Voting with a climate lens is an important part of this advocacy.

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The Future of Auckland Harbour Bridge - A letter to Auckland Transport & Waka Kotahi

You'll probably have seen in the news the damage done to the Auckland Harbour Bridge in freak winds last week. It led to reduced lanes and commuter chaos but we saw real leadership by Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi in creating a temporary bus lane linking the city centre to the Harbour Bridge. It reduces congestion by making buses faster, accessible and more reliable.  We think this could be the beginning of an array of permanent low-carbon, transformative solutions to ease congestion and we are excited to see what else Waka Kotahi and Auckland Transport implement in the future to encourage walking, cycling and busing across Hauraki.

To show our support and thank them for their work we dropped by their offices this morning delivering a plant and a handwritten letter. Read below to see what we said!

 

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Emissions Trading Scheme Reform: A Small Step, But Not Far Enough

The Emissions Trading Scheme Reform Bill is a small step towards a carbon zero Aotearoa, but further reforms are urgently needed to meet the Government’s commitments under the Zero Carbon Act. 

The Ministry for Environment calls the ETS “the Government’s primary tool for mitigating climate change”. But this tool is falling short. According to a 2018 briefing by the Ministry for the Environment, we are predicted to fall short of our Paris Agreement commitments by over 200 million tonnes of CO2. This is roughly two and a half years’ worth of national emissions. 

“We call on the government to include agricultural emissions and create a clear timeframe for the implementation of a transparent auctioning system for NZUs. These steps will expand the reach of the ETS and give businesses greater certainty in these uncertain times”, says Generation Zero spokesperson Grace Cowely.

“Without these reforms, the ETS will fail in its most important mission; reducing emissions and guiding our society towards a just, low carbon future.”

Generation Zero supports the Government’s work on reforming the ETS in order to meet its Zero Carbon Act commitments. “We urge all parties that supported the Zero Carbon Act to strengthen the ETS in order to meet the cross-party commitment to achieving a carbon zero Aotearoa by 2050.”

“We recognise that the COVID-19 crisis has caused significant economic disruption, but we also know the economic and environmental costs of inaction on climate change. Inaction means placing a huge burden on young Kiwis and future generations to adapt to climate change while facing its worst impacts. This is simply unfair.”

“On the other hand, we now have a window of opportunity for visionary leadership for a just transition towards a zero carbon economy. The government must seize this chance and build on the Reform Bill to make the ETS more effective and transparent - for the interests of present and future generations.”

Making Industrial Allocation Work

Industrial allocation currently renders the ETS useless for reducing the carbon emissions of large emitters. The reformed reductions to the industrial allocation system remain too incremental. The rate of reduction must be increased in order to meet the targets agreed upon in the Zero Carbon Act.  Moreover, a transparent and traceable auctioning system that removes the fixed price setting for NZUs is needed to incentive businesses that are allocated NZUs to reduce their emissions. We support the Government’s commitment to implement an auctioning system for carbon credits to incentivise businesses allocated NZUs to reduce their emissions, as the system will drive the carbon market dynamics necessary for mitigation. We call on the government to ensure that the fixed cap on emissions is scientifically grounded in order to realistically meet the zero carbon act agreement by 2050. Given the urgent nature of the climate crisis, the implementation of this auctioning system should be fast-tracked. 

Including Agriculture

Agriculture is an important part of New Zealand’s economy, but is also responsible for 48% of our national greenhouse gas emissions. It needs to be brought into the ETS today; not five years from now as currently stipulated in the bill.  In order to meet our commitments under the Zero Carbon Act and the Paris Agreement, we need robust and scientifically validated targets for short lifespan greenhouse gases such as agricultural methane. 

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Future project funding is being decided NOW - share your feedback on Auckland Council's Emergency Budget

Future project funding is being decided NOW in Tāmaki Makaurau! 💰 Share your feedback with Auckland Council today on their Emergency Budget with our quick submit form ❤️ Submissions close Friday 19th June! 👍 Read below to use our form!

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The Second and Final stage of NZTA’s Northern Pathway (aka Skypath) ✨

In 2015 all of you helped us get 11,500 submissions on the Skypath! Now, we need everyone to champion safe walking and cycling link on the Northern Pathway by submitting this Sunday, 14 June. 

It is wonderful that Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is listening and aiming to see this Pathway as more than just a commuter link, but as a community resource. We emphasize that the Pathway’s success lies in its connectivity. The Pathway should be viewed as a tree trunk, which will only thrive if it has many branches. 

Pushing for safe, connected & future-proofed walking & cycling links like this one makes for an awesome Tāmaki Makaurau. You can submit on the second round of consultation on the Pathway here, but we have produced a quick submit form here but if you want to see the full detail of our submission points read more below!

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Call for more Local Goverment Support

Generation Zero partnered with ACE New Zealand* to ask the government to provide addition support to local governments in such an uncertain time. Take a look at the letter we've put together here.

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Young people strike and submit in #unitebehindclimate launch

Youth-led climate campaigners School Strike 4 Climate and Generation Zero launched their #unitebehindclimate campaign website today, coinciding with New Zealand’s first digital School Strike 4 Climate event.

The website (www.unitebehindclimate.com) is a platform for young people to call for placing climate justice at the centre of future Government spending as the country recovers from COVID-19. As youth-led organisations, both groups are also calling for intergenerational justice - meaning a resilient and secure future for all generations.

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Send the temp cycle lanes some love ❤️

This pandemic has seen an overwhelming number of cyclists and pedestrians on our streets and in our parks. It is reported that Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have seen an increase of 91% on their cycling counters. 

Auckland is one of the few areas in Aotearoa New Zealand that has taken decisive action and installed temporary cycle lanes and walkways during the lockdown. They are following the actions of cities around the world like Oakland, Paris, and Bogotá.

Read more to voice your feedback and show your support!

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Council’s Bailout Loan To Wellington Airport Is Not A Climate-friendly Recovery

At this critical point in time for our city, Wellington City Councillors are deciding what our new normal will look like as we come through the COVID-19 crisis together. Amidst calls for a climate justice focused recovery, they’ve voted to bail out Wellington Airport, a major polluter. This is concerning and Generation Zero will be watching closely to ensure the council delivers on their promises to take urgent action on climate change.

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Stay home and submit on the Northern Pathway and Lake Rd cycleways 🤙🏼

We hope you are doing well, in these strange times and that you and your whānau are staying safe.

For those with more time on their hands, we wanted to give an update and mention a few productive things we can do from the safety of our bubbles to keep pushing for a climate-resilient Tāmaki Makaurau. Being stuck at home need not stop us from having our say! Read more about how you can submit on the Northern Pathway and Lake Rd cycleways.

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