New Zealand Law Society - Lawyers group criticises Budget's lack of green initiatives

Lawyers group criticises Budget's lack of green initiatives

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A lawyer-led action group on climate change says the Budget is a missed opportunity to reduce New Zealand’s emissions by 2030 and keep global warming down.

In its response to Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s third Budget, Lawyers for Climate Action says while there are some positives in last week’s Budget there is also a noticeable lack of real investment in initiatives to tackle global warming.

“The Budget is missing any clear commitment to target spending towards the investments required to reduce our emissions by 2030 and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees,” the group says.

“The investment in rail and ferry upgrades is a step in the right direction but, to achieve our climate goals, we need to effectively de-carbonise transport by 2030 – in other words, we need to largely replace petrol and diesel private vehicles with alternative forms of transport.

“There is so far little sign that transport investment will be focused on achieving that ‘reset’. Equally, it is difficult to see any serious investment in this Budget in supporting transformational change in the agriculture sector, our biggest producer of emissions.

“Finally, no further details were offered in the Budget on how the billions allocated to ‘shovel ready’ projects will be spent.

“We again call on the Government to confirm that the direct and indirect lifetime impact of each project on greenhouse gas emissions will be made a core part of the assessment of all post-COVID-19 stimulus spending.”

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