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New Zealand Legislates Net Zero by 2050 with Cross-Partisan Support

New Zealand has adopted a legislated target to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Today, we have made a choice that I am proud of,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the national parliament. “I hope it means the next generation will see that we…were on the right side of history.”

The bill adopted last Thursday “enshrines in law the new 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target and makes it a legally binding objective to keep global warming below a rise of 1.5°C,” Reuters reports. The legislation was introduced by Ardern’s Labour coalition government, but “passed with cross-party support from the main opposition National Party, despite changes promised by the latter if it wins the next election in 2020.”

The measure “accords different treatment to methane emissions from animals versus other greenhouse gases,” the news agency adds, “but still targets a cut of 10% in biological methane by 2030, and up to 47% by 2050.”

Climate Change Minister and Green Party leader James Shaw called the legislation “the centrepiece for meaningful climate change action in New Zealand,” adding that politicians had received 11,000 submissions on the issue and heard from a cross-section of New Zealand society.