NZ Sets Pace on Climate Change
A recent Guardian op-ed hailed NZ as “the new climate change pioneer”, after the unveiling of an ambitious new environmental plan by the NZ government. The plan’s stated targets include generating 90% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and for the electricity, stationary energy (coal and gas) and transport sector to be carbon neutral by 2040. In addition, an emissions trading scheme will be launched in January next year. “New Zealand’s plans are worthy of a green hurrah, if for no other reason than they show how an entire country (albeit a small one) can be turned around once leaders recognise that pollution does indeed cost,” writes columnist Tim Watkins. He notes, however, that while NZ is leaving other developed nations “in the shade”, its efforts should not be seen as an extreme example of environmental policy, but as marking the beginning of a global change.