Oxfam Aotearoa welcomes the latest advice from the Climate Change Commission to the Government calling for an urgent decision about how it will prioritise emissions reduction in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS). Oxfam Aotearoa Interim Executive Director Dr Jo Sprat said:
“The Commission is on the right track: All sectors of Aotearoa’s economy, including agriculture, need to do their fair share in reducing climate pollution.
“Aotearoa can’t just rely on planting permanent pine forests, or paying other countries to reduce emissions for us. The role of international carbon credits and carbon off-setting, including whether these will be integrated into the ETS or kept separate is as clear as mud. The Government must urgently provide clarity, just as the Commission recommends.
“What also concerns us is how the Government will make sure human rights are upheld, including indigenous and community land rights. If it is not done right, using international credits as an alternative to reducing our own carbon emissions from industries like agriculture could do serious harm to communities – especially those on the frontlines, such as our Pacific friends and family who experience the worst impacts of climate destruction every day.
“The Commission’s advice underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive plan for a just transition, in consultation with tangata whenua and all communities, to support a move to a less polluting and more equitable economy in Aotearoa. We couldn’t agree more. A just transition would make sure the rising cost of carbon pollution in the NZ ETS doesn’t unfairly fall on those least able to pay.”