Jacinda Ardern gives a stimulating speech while New Zealand approves the historic climate change law


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave a moving speech in parliament, stating that the world is "undeniably" heating up and has committed to making the country almost completely carbon neutral by 2050.

"We are here because our world is warming up. Undeniably it is heating," he began.

"And I'm proud at least that … we're no longer arguing that this is the case. We're just discussing what we do about it."

Ms. Ardern went on to say that she absolutely believed that climate change was the "greatest challenge of our time" and the "nuclear moment" for this generation.

"Undeniably our sea levels are increasing. We are undeniably experiencing extreme weather events, more and more. Undeniably science tells us the impact that there will be on the flora and fauna, and also the spread of diseases in areas where we have never seen them before.

"We also know that some island nations will have their sources of clean water influenced by rising sea levels and the entry of salt water into them. Every day they are already seeing those impacts.

"Our world is heating up, and therefore the question for all of us is which part of history will we choose to sit in?"


The speech came when New Zealand approved the historic Zero Carbon law aimed at fighting climate change.

The bill is committed to reducing the country's greenhouse gas emissions to the point of becoming mostly carbon neutral by 2050, but offers some room for maneuver to farmers, who generate much of the country's foreign income.

The bill was led by the Liberal government, but was eventually supported by the main conservative opposition party, which however promised changes if it won the next election.

Ms. Ardern said that sometimes she was desperate about the pace at which other countries were making changes to fight global warming and promised that New Zealand would be a leader.

"Today we made a choice that will leave a legacy … I hope that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history," he said.

The bill would require that all greenhouse gases except methane from animals be reduced to zero by 2050. Methane emissions would be reduced by 10% by 2030 and by around a quarter and a half by 2050.

The bill sets up a climate change commission, which will advise the government on how to achieve its goals.

The government has also promised to plant 1 billion trees in 10 years and ensure that the electricity grid will operate entirely from renewable energy by 2035.

Climate change minister James Shaw said the new law would help ensure a safer planet for everyone's children and grandchildren.

"We have led the world first in nuclear disarmament and in the votes for women, now we are driving again," he said.

Agriculture is the key to New Zealand's economy, which is home to just under five million people but over 10 million cows and about 28 million sheep.

Those animals break and fart methane, resulting in an unusual greenhouse gas emission profile for the country. Almost half of the total emissions come from agriculture.

The bill states that the lowest targets for methane reduction reflect that it remains in the atmosphere for a much shorter time than carbon dioxide, although climate scientists point out that methane is much more powerful while there.

The bill also aims to meet New Zealand's obligations under the 2015 Paris climate reference point of reference to keep the rise in global temperatures under control.

Following the previous promises of President Donald Trump, the United States this week began the formal conclusion of the agreement.



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