29 August, 2017

The need for zero carbon emissions by 2050!

Back the plan
by Molly Harriss Olson

Climate action will not only safeguard New Zealand’s future. It will also support vulnerable communities who are already at the frontline of climate change.

As New Zealanders gear up for an election on Saturday 23 September, Fairtrade and 13 other aid agencies have joined forces to urge political action on climate change.

Back the Plan: Back to Zero calls on all New Zealand political parties to establish binding climate legislation and a Zero Carbon Act.

We want future governments to meet zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to establish an independent Climate Commission to provide expert advice.

This will secure New Zealand’s future in a low-carbon world, while supporting vulnerable communities in our region that are likely to be hit hardest by climate change.

We are already seeing the negative impacts of climate change in developing countries.

Consider, for example, the 120 million people around the world who are dependent on the coffee value chain for their livelihoods.

The global area suitable for coffee production will shrink by as much as a half by 2050 unless we reduce our global emissions, according to research from The Climate Institute last year.

There is strong evidence that rising temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns are already affecting coffee yields, quality, pests and diseases – damaging economic security in some coffee regions.

The global implications are far-reaching, and stretch well beyond whether consumers will miss out on their café latte at breakfast.

Most of the world’s 25 million coffee farmers are small landholders with little capacity to adapt to a changing climate, where extreme weather and market volatility conspire against them.

So, what can we do about it?

Fairtrade has taken steps to ensure the production and supply chains for its Fairtrade Climate Neutral Coffee don’t contribute to global warming, and that small producers and workers enjoy secure and sustainability livelihoods.

But New Zealanders can also demand action from their government to ensure we are taking steps towards a carbon neutral future. We want all political parties to #BackThePlan to get New Zealand #BackToZero carbon emissions by 2050.

And we urge kiwis to sign our petition for a Zero Carbon Act.

Help us move climate change to the top of the political agenda, and build a fairer future for everyone in our region.

Back the Plan Back to Zero is a coalition of 14 leading international development agencies: 

International development agencies

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