In a symbolic move, on December 2nd 2020, New Zealand declared a climate emergency and pledged to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025.
This symbolic step makes New Zealand join another 30 nations such as Canada, France, Japan who have already declared a climate emergency.
The law makers of the country voted 76-43 in favour of taking this step. This split is reflective of party lines.
The government also launched a new initiative requiring its public agencies to get phase out coal boilers, reducing the size of its car fleet and buying hybrid/electric cars to become carbon neutral by 2025.
It will also require government agencies in the country to measure and report emissions and pay to off-set any they can’t by 2025.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the climate emergency declaration was based on the findings of an intergovernmental panel on climate change findings, which stated that to avoid the 1.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature, carbon emissions need to be cut by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2023 and reach zero by 2050.