Young People in New Zealand call for zero carbon emissions by 2050

Achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions is central to a prosperous future, say a new movement of young New Zealanders

Kicking the fossil fuel habit and achieving zero net greenhouse gas emissions are central to a positive future, say Generation Zero, a new movement of young New Zealanders.

Launched in July 2011 the initiative seeks to unite young people around a vision of a zero carbon New Zealand and empower them to stand up for their right to a positive future.

Generation Zero spokesperson Chelsea Robinson said: “Right now our futures are under threat because of short-sighted decision making. Rather than just growing increasingly worried and angry, we are standing up to make sure that climate change starts getting the attention it deserves.”

The group points out that human activities have already caused greenhouse gases to reach unsafe levels in the atmosphere and that we are now seeing predicted effects of climate change, including more extreme weather events, with the full impact still to come. Believing that young people have the most at stake since they will live with the consequences, Generation Zero want to ensure that New Zealand and other nations drive net emissions down to zero in a matter of decades, in order to ensure their futures are not in jeopardy.

“New Zealand has no credible emissions reduction plan,” the group stated. “According to a recent UN report, the plans currently in place will achieve only one third of the emissions reductions required to meet the Government’s own 2020 target.”

Generation Zero are asking all political parties and government agencies to raise their ambitions. The group are calling for a legally binding plan and timetable, with three-year milestones, to achieve zero net emissions in New Zealand before 2050. Their ultimate requirement is New Zealand playing its part in an international plan to stabilise levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at 350ppm (parts-per-million), the level NASA scientist James Hansen has shown is needed for a safe and stable climate.

“We are Generation Zero, the generation to oversee the transformation to a zero carbon world,” says Chelsea. “This isn’t just a name, it’s an identity. It’s our place to step up and make our voices heard on how this plays out, and it’s our time to ignite change.”


Article courtesy of Happyzine