The Zero Carbon Act is a kind of road map designed to get us from the way we do things now, where everything from our ham sandwich to our ute has fossil fuels somewhere in its production, to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This means that, by 2050, any more heating of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and the other greenhouse gases will have to be offset somehow: by planting more trees, restoring wetlands and more importantly, changing the way we do pretty much everything.

If we and enough other countries can get to net zero fast enough we might even survive as a species past the next two generations. I'm not being extreme.

The term climate emergency has been adopted by councils and countries around the world. Auckland declared a climate emergency last week. Human extinction is being openly discussed by scientists. I'm terrified for my grandkids' future.


The ZCA is now called the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill and we mere mortals have until July 16 to submit, along with the country's biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, according to Rod Oram: Business New Zealand, Fonterra, NZ Steel, Rio Tinto, NZ Refining, Golden Bay Cement, Methanex and Pan Pac Forest Products.

The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is already watered down to get buy-in from National and NZ First. But how can you water down an emergency?

School kids are taking to the streets to demand a liveable future. Do we have time to be non-partisan?

The more I think about it the more I suspect that our political process is just not up to the job of saving my grandkids' future.

But I will submit on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill and so must you.

Because this Bill is a moral issue and we have to make sure this Government understands that. It could be their nuclear-free moment but not in its present form.

As my cooking teacher used to say: Needs work.

Take methane. A 10 per cent reduction by 2030 is far too low.


As a short-lived greenhouse gas, yet 86 times more potent over a 20-year period, it could - and must - be rapidly reduced to make a meaningful difference to our emissions.

Cows are one of NZ's biggest sources of methane. No prizes for guessing who's lobbying madly to water down the methane target even further.

Take the fact that Fonterrra could build another coal-fired milk-drying plant, Land Transport NZ could build more roads, airports could be extended and legally, this Act won't stop them. We have to make this Bill legally enforceable.

Email or click on to parliament's submission page before July 16.

Even if all you say is that you need this Act to be strong, that the biggest polluters need to be stopped, that you want your kids to have a future. Do it.