Zero Carbon Bill passes but poll show most Kiwis don't want climate emergency declared

It was a landmark day, with Parliament setting greenhouse gas reduction targets through the Zero Carbon Bill with near-unanimous support - but a poll shows most Kiwis don't want a climate emergency declared. 

The Zero Carbon Bill's targets will see farmers cut the methane burped out by cows and all other gases off-set, and the National Party revealed last minute it would support the legislation. 

There's been global pressure for governments to move with urgency on climate change.

Tens of thousands marched in the New Zealand school strike in September, calling on the Government to declare a climate emergency, and Extinction Rebellion protesters shut down traffic in Wellington. 

But a Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows most Kiwis don't want a climate emergency declared.

When asked whether the Government should declare a climate emergency, 29 percent of New Zealanders said to declare one, while 62 percent said no. 

School striker Sophie Handford told Newshub momentum is building nonetheless. 

The Greens have attempted to set a climate emergency but the parliamentary motion was opposed by the National Party. While the party's failed on that front, the passing of the Zero Carbon Bill with backing from the National Party is a victory for Greens co-leader. His Bill has had a slow and fraught journey. 

He's achieved near total parliamentary support for his Bill, the framework to get New Zealand to below the Paris Agreement global warming target. While it passed unanimously in Parliament, that was only because of the absence of ACT MP David Seymour, who is the Bill's lone opposition.

The bill sets into law reduction targets of greenhouse gases other than methane to net-zero by 2050, and the reduction of methane - the gas produced by livestock burping - by 10 percent by 2030, and by between 24 - 47 percent by 2050. 

"I hope the next generation will see that we in New Zealand were on the right side of history," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, also thanking National for supporting the Bill. 

Shaw echoed Ardern's sentiment, telling Parliament the issue of climate change is "too big for politics". 

National leader Simon Bridges said his party would back the Bill for now but will make changes to it if it gets in power in 2020. 

"If left the way it is it will punish ordinary New Zealanders so that's why we say methane target needs revisiting."


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