Caritas gives a B pass to Emissions Reduction Plan

New Zealand Catholic charity Caritas is glad to see New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan finally produced.

Cross-party support for its long-term carbon-reduction budgets is great – but …

“The Plan isn’t ambitious enough” says Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand Engagement Manager Roger Ellis.

“For the sake of the poor and the planet – we’d like to see ambitious action that would get New Zealand to a carbon neutral economy by 2040.”

He notes there’s plenty of extra detail to come and a lot more work to do on the Emissions Reduction Plan.

He also thinks it’s significant that the Plan’s release – with emissions Budgets extending to 2035 – is just a few days before the annual financial Budget.

This is indicative of the long-range planning and intergenerational foresight needed to make a healthier home for our children and mokopuna, he says.

“Our development partners in the Pacific have been noticing climatic changes that have been affecting their daily lives for the last two to three decades, and we have been documenting their stories since 2014 through our Oceania environment reports.”

Ellis says the stories include marginalised communities within Aoteaoroa New Zealand bearing the brunt of the first wave of climate-induced change.

He points to examples like water shortages in Northland and extreme weather blocking roads along the Whanganui River. He mentions the sea level rise impacting South Dunedin.

‘We won’t have a viable economy in the long term if we don’t reduce emissions and look after our land and waterways. We owe it to the next generation to take action now to safeguard the wellbeing of the planet.”

Caritas says we all have a part to play in these responsibilities.

We need to do our best to minimise carbon emissions and assist those most severely impacted by climate changes, he says.

Those impacted include vulnerable local and overseas communities hit by coastal erosion and inundation, extreme weather and long-term climate change impacting basic food and water resources.



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