New Zealand’s incoming government is hoping to make the nation greener by planting 100 million trees each year, ensuring the electricity grid runs entirely from renewable energy, and spending more money on cycle ways and rail transport.
Jacinda Ardern, who took over as prime minister, outlined agreements her Labour Party reached with other political parties joining them in the new government.
The 37-year-old is New Zealand’s youngest leader in more than 150 years and hopes to take the country on a more liberal path following nine years of rule by the conservative National Party.
“I don’t need to be influenced on climate change,” she said. “It will sit at the heart of what this government does.”
Ardern’s plan is for New Zealand to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2050.
Some of the targets will require only incremental changes. New Zealand already generates about 85 percent of its electricity from renewable sources including hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. Ardern plans to increase that to 100 percent by 2035, in part by investigating whether solar panels can be used atop schools.
She said the country will need to double the amount of trees it plants each year, a goal she said was “absolutely achievable” by using land that was marginal for farming animals. Her plans also call for the government’s vehicle fleet to be green within a decade.
Source: World Economic Forum