The recent report released by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (Farms, forests and fossil fuels: The next great landscape transformation) provides constructive challenge and food for thought on how New Zealand sets targets and climate policy.
Z’s Sustainability Manager, Gerri Ward, agrees that the burning of fossil fuels needs to dramatically reduce by the second half of the century.
“Z has always known that we cannot rely on offsetting alone to move to a Zero Carbon future.
“The use of fossil fuels needs to, at the very least, reduce dramatically by 2050. This is entirely consistent with our pledge as a founding member of the Climate Leaders Coalition, with Z’s own scenario planning work, and with the Paris Agreement that New Zealand is a part of.
“This is why we have been investing in alternative, cleaner fuels and alternative mobility technologies, with a deliberate strategy on how we prepare for a low carbon future.
“In the meantime, we can’t afford to do nothing about our current emissions.
“Trees sequester carbon, which is why we have, and will continue to invest in permanent forestry as a way to offset Z’s emissions as well as the emissions from the products we sell,” said Gerri.
Z says that a clear pathway and policy certainty, including transitional policies, will be crucial to giving companies the ability to plan for a Zero Carbon future, while also undertaking immediate mitigation and transition activities.
“We all know that time is running out if we want to keep global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius – we can’t afford to wait for a magic future date to take action.
“We hope to continue to engage constructively with policymakers and be a part of the solution when it comes to transitioning New Zealand to a low carbon economy,” said Gerri.