Julie Anne Genter brought to tears during James Shaw's Zero Carbon Bill speech

Julie Anne Genter was brought to tears during James Shaw's speech on the Zero Carbon Bill when he delivered a message to the next generation. 

Shaw, the Minister for Climate Change and co-leader of the Greens, delivered the first speech in Parliament on Thursday for the Zero Carbon Bill's final reading. 

He spoke about how tackling climate change is "too big for politics", and that he has "fought the centrifugal forces of politics to try and create bipartisan consensus and support" for the legislation. 

It was near the end of Shaw's speech when his Green Party colleague, Genter, appeared to get emotional, turning to Green MP Golriz Ghahraman to say, "I think I'm going to cry."

Shaw had just mentioned that he'd become an uncle to his newest nephew, Luka. 

"I hope that when you are older, you look back on this day and you know we did our best for you," Shaw said. "In this House today, your House, we see you all and we deliver this Bill for you. Let us begin."

Genter told Newshub Shaw's speech made her think of her one-year-old son, and her brother's first child expected to arrive in March next year.

She said it made her think of "all of their generation, who are relying on us to take responsibility and do what is needed to keep global warming below 1.5degC". 

Genter said the Zero Carbon Bill is an "important first step", and said New Zealand "needs to keep up the momentum".

"There are so many opportunities to reduce harmful climate pollution and create a better future for our kids. We can change things for the better. We must."

Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson, flanked by Green MPs Chloe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman, ahead of the Zero Carbon Bill's final reading in Parliament.
Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson, flanked by Green MPs Chloe Swarbrick and Golriz Ghahraman, ahead of the Zero Carbon Bill's final reading in Parliament. Photo credit: Newshub / Zane Small

The Bill's passing was a victory for Shaw, with near unanimous Parliament support. The only party to oppose the Bill was ACT, with leader David Seymour saying it gives too much power to the Climate Change Minister. 

National MP Judith Collins revealed she almost "crossed the floor" and voted against National, over concerns the farming community will be unfairly targeted. 

The Zero Carbon Bill creates further commitments for New Zealand - after signing up to the Paris Agreement in 2016 - agreeing to help keep global average temperatures below 2degC and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5degC. 

The new law includes a new net zero 2050 greenhouse gas reduction target and future governments will have to make plans to meet it. 

The law will ensure future governments set emission budgets every five years, and plans to meet those budgets, which Shaw says will act as "stepping stones" towards meeting the 2050 goal.  

The greenhouse gas reduction target has two components; one emissions reduction goal for biogenic methane, and another for all other greenhouse gases. 

While National is supporting the law, it's pushing back against the biogenic methane reduction target of between 24-47 percent by 2050, saying it's too high for farmers to realistically achieve. 

National leader Simon Bridges is promising to make changes to the law if the party is elected in 2020, including putting in more protections for food production. 

A Climate Change Commission will be established as an independent body to advise and support governments now and in the future to reach the greenhouse gas reduction target.

It's expected to be up and running by the end of the year.