Social Governance

California and New Zealand Enter Climate Change Partnership

Published on: 28 May 2022 07:00 AM
by KnowESG

California and New Zealand's top leaders signed a pledge on Friday committing to share ideas and best practices in the fight against climate change, including how to get millions more electric vehicles on the road.

At San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discussed the agreement. It does not bind any administration to specific policies, but it does lay out broad areas for collaboration.

Ardern commented, "We have a natural connection, and I am so pleased we have put pen to paper today to confirm that and continue our cooperation on one of the great challenges of our generation."

According to Ardern, cars, trucks, and other forms of transportation are the major source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, and the second-highest in New Zealand, behind agriculture. California is planning to phase out the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. By that year, New Zealand wants 30 per cent of all automobile sales to be electric.

Newsom predicted that competition in the electric vehicle sector, which Tesla presently dominates, will increase, comparing it to when Netflix faced competition from other streaming providers. Ardern stated that her administration would speak with officials in California about schemes that provide incentives for people to get rid of older, gas-guzzling vehicles.

New Zealand has a population of 5 million people, compared to 39 million in California, and a significantly smaller economy. Climate change is having an impact on each of them. California just had its driest winter on record. The most recent winter in New Zealand, which lasted from June to August, was the hottest on record.

New Zealand is putting a lot of effort into lowering emissions from its critical agriculture sector. The nation's farming economy is dominated by beef and dairy, and milk products constitute the country's major export. Cattle are a major source of methane emissions, a strong greenhouse gas, throughout the world.

California also has a thriving agriculture economy that generates a large portion of the world's fruits and vegetables. According to the agreement, the two governments may collaborate on projects to improve soil health, reduce methane emissions, and increase water efficiency.

Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, and Jeremy Clarke-Watson, New Zealand's consul-general in Los Angeles, signed the memorandum of collaboration.

Many other countries, including China, Canada, and Mexico, have previously signed climate-related accords with California.

Former California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, was instrumental in the formation of a coalition of 270 subnational governments aimed at keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

At last year's global climate change summit in Scotland, California signed a brief joint declaration with New Zealand and the Canadian province of Quebec to share information on climate policy, including carbon markets.

Source: abc10

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