A climate emergency - New Zealand government

#GS2 #INTERNATIONAL

The parliament passed the Zero-Carbon Act, which commits New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

  • New Zealand’s government will decide next week if a climate emergency should be declared in the country or not.
  • As prime minister, Ardern has been vocal about climate change and last November, the parliament passed the Zero-Carbon Act, which commits New Zealand to zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

 

Climate emergency

  • In its ongoing online petition, Greenpeace New Zealand is urging the government to declare a climate emergency since people are “facing more extreme weather events, catastrophic loss of wildlife and a crisis over access to freshwater and food”.
  • In 2019, the Oxford dictionaries declared “climate emergency” to be the word of the year, a word that reflects “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance”.
  • It defines climate emergency as “a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it”.
  • But even before the New Zealand government planned to declare a climate emergency, some of the regions in the country had already started declaring it since last year.
  • Even so, such a declaration is only symbolic and does not have any legal weight because of which critics have said that such announcements don’t do enough and are, in fact, “hollow”.
  • Some of the countries that have declared a climate emergency in recent years include the UK, Portugal, Canada, France and, most recently, Japan.
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