by Artur Francisco, Digital Campaigns Coordinator
This was far from being the 'boring election' many thought it was going to be – and almost two weeks after the last vote was cast, its result is still uncertain.
We knew Oxfam’s election story was also going to be far from boring when we led a coalition of 15 aid agencies to campaign for all political parties to commit New Zealand to legally binding pollution reduction targets.
All these agencies have witnessed the number of climate-related humanitarian disasters more than double since 1980. This means that climate change has the potential to wind back development progress made over the last 60 years, creating havoc in developed and developing countries alike. After many years working in long-term development solutions and responding to humanitarian disasters in over 90 countries, all of us agree that this is one of the biggest development challenges of the 21st century.
You Backed the Plan
From secular to faith-based agencies, from Dargaville to Dunedin, the agencies - representing hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with a variety of political views, but who are all equally concerned about the many problems our children will face in the near future due to climate change – all knew it wouldn’t be easy to bring climate change to the top of the political agenda. But with your help, we did it.
During the months leading up to the election, more than 5,000 New Zealanders got behind our campaign Back the Plan - Back to Zero and demanded a real climate commitment from all political parties. This led to a huge success as we secured a commitment from Labour, Greens and NZ First on legislation to reduce New Zealand's pollution. But our work is far from finished.
Whatever the final election result is, we will continue to fight for a fairer, more just New Zealand.
Climate change is happening now and is affecting us all - our Pacific neighbours, our communities, our businesses and people living in poverty. We will continue to work with the newly elected government and hold it to account as we advocate for a cross-party agreement that puts the future of our children first: a Zero Carbon Act.
As the Electoral Commission is still counting the 380,000 special votes remaining, whatever the result, we will continue to call for our MPs to legislate a Zero Carbon Act and make New Zealand carbon-neutral by 2050.
Watch this space.