New Zealand lawmakers on Thursday passed a “Zero Carbon” bill that it hopes will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to a near-neutral level by 2050.
The legislation, which was supported on both sides of the political divide, mandates that in 40 years’ time, the country should produce no greenhouse gases, except methane, as part of the country’s efforts to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.
The bill has different regulations for methane emissions from animals versus other greenhouse gases, due to farming’s important role in bringing in foreign income. However, it still aims to cut 10% of biological methane by 2030, and up to 47% by 2050.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said countries are not moving fast enough when it comes to combating climate change.
“We’re here because our world is warming. Undeniably it is warming,” Ardern said. “And so therefore the question for all of us is
what side of history will we choose to sit on.”