Labour's climate promises include government electric cars, Climate Commission

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The Labour Party has released its policies and promises on climate change this morning, which involve a strengthened net-zero carbon target and the establishment of a Climate Commission to enforce those targets.

Leader Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand must play its part globally when it comes to preventing climate change.
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Party leader Jacinda Ardern said it's not good enough for New Zealand to simply say it is too small to make a difference, as most nations would say the same individually.

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"Climate change is my generation's nuclear-free moment," Ms Ardern said in a release. "We have to take our place in the world to combat this problem, we have to show leadership".

"For too long, we have set targets and not done what's needed to achieve them ... that's why Labour will set up an independent Climate Commission to examine what reductions can practically be achieved by each sector and recommend emissions reductions targets.

"The Emissions Trading Scheme is at the core of delivering on our targets ... we have always had a policy of an all sectors, all gases regime and that remains our policy.

The Labour Party is being questioned over its stance on the Greens carbon tax policy.
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"For agriculture, a gradual introduction of the price signal from the Emissions Trading System, starting with giving the sector 90 per cent of emissions free, will help bring emissions down without hurting agriculture's contribution to the economy.

"Government-backed science has made impressive advances in methods to reduce farm emissions without reducing output.

Jacinda Ardern said the party's progressive environmental policies announced today are things all political parties should be talking about.
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"We will also ensure that farmers operating at best practice are recognised and directly credited for the reductions they achieve."

Ms Ardern said Labour would also support research and development in the field, as well as encouraging a younger generation of conservationists with the establishment of a Youth Climate Change Challenge asking students to come up with ideas to tackle climate change.

New leader Jacinda Ardern used the launch to put a stake in the ground over climate change.
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Labour's promises:

- Set a target of net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, with legally binding emissions reduction targets, and carbon budgets to keep New Zealand on track to this goal

- Establish an independent Climate Commission to recommend interim emissions reduction targets and provide advice on the ramifications of not achieving them

- Encourage young people to take part in the effort to end our climate pollution through a Youth Climate Change Challenge

- Show government leadership by requiring state-owned enterprises and other government organisations to actively pursue low-carbon options and technologies including all future purchases of all Government vehicle fleets to be electric vehicles unless there is an exceptional reason otherwise

- Restore the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), including bringing agriculture into the ETS by the end of our first term, with 90% of emissions free

- Ensure that farmers operating at best practice are recognised so they can be directly credited for emissions reductions they achieve

- Support a just transition for workers in industries that need to reduce emissions and the creation of jobs in sectors that are carbon-free or carbon sinks, such as forestry

- Establish a Transitions National Science Challenge to consider the science, research and development required for the transition to a low-carbon economy

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