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Zero Carbon Bill to be introduced in next few months, Climate Change Minister says

The Zero Carbon Bill, which sets up the framework to oversee New Zealand's 2050 carbon zero transition, is set to be introduced to Parliament in the next few months.

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The potential law change result in a commission to oversee NZ becoming carbon zero by 2050. Source: Q+A

However, it is projected to come with a price tag.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw told TVNZ1's Q+A he hopes it will pass into law this year, with all Government parties agreeing "on the main thrust of it". 

"It is being introduced later than I had originally intended and that is because we are trying really hard to build cross-party consensus right across the house.

"All parties have got issues with various parts of it... We are really just arguing out at the edges at the moment."

"This has got to last us for 30 years or longer and it's got to survive multiple changes of Government."

For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

When asked about the potential sacrifice of 10-20% of GDP, Mr Shaw said he believed New Zealand's economy would be "stronger as a result of this, not weaker". 

"Our economy will continue to grow at an increased rate," he said.

"The second thing is, what's the counterfactual? If we don't do this... the costs to our economy of those things far exceeds any costs that it’s going to take for us to fix the problem."

He used the examples of moving infrastructure, airports and railways and roads to higher ground because of sea-level rise, the impact of droughts and of flooding. 

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TVNZ1’s Q+A gets the latest on the Zero Carbon Bill, school strikes and genetic modification. Source: Q+A

"I do think that we can do it, and it is going to take all of us, and it is going to take everything we’ve got."

"We still have a wee bit of time, and the important thing we’re doing is bringing in the institutions and the policies that are going to help us make that transition over the course of the coming 10 to 30 years."