Decisions are about making a better world for today’s newborn

Wairoa Star, Wairoa East Coast by STUART NASH 26 Apr 2018

CLIMATE change is real in our region. Wairoa has not been spared from this damage and disruption.

Summers are getting hotter and drier, winters are getting shorter, and storms are getting more destructive. Our economy and community has been affected by more severe droughts. Roads and property have been washed away. Our primary production sector has been hammered.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has described climate change as this generation’s nuclear-free moment. It is our chance for New Zealand to play a leading role to help make a better world, and a real difference.

To prevent climate change getting even worse, we need to reduce the amount of climate pollution we put into the atmosphere.

We need to begin this transition now, if we are to make a difference in time. We have decided there will be no new permits for offshore oil and gas exploration. We will only allow new onshore exploration in one small block in Taranaki – not on conservation land.

This will not affect existing exploration permits or existing wells.The search for and production of oil and gas in those areas can continue. No existing jobs will be affected.

The plan is for all of our electricity generation to be from renewable sources by 2035 – around the time a new-born baby of today is getting ready to go to university or into the workforce. Huge advances are being made in electric cars, solar panels, and home energy storage. It’s easier than ever to get the energy we need from clean and renewable sources.

Some say that such a small country can’t make a difference in the overall global scheme of things but I don’t accept this. As a nation we have always played a leadership role in dealing with global issues and we have never let our size define the role we play on the world’s stage.This time is no different.

We are protecting current workers from a sudden change, we are protecting our energy supplies and we are dealing with climate change. We are protecting the current and future generations, and our economy and environment. And we are doing the right thing.

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