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New Zealand has passed a law to transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 as part of its efforts to tackle climate change.

The Zero Carbon Bill provides a framework to support New Zealand’s preparations for the effects of climate change and keeping global warming below 1.5C.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said: “This is a historic piece of legislation and is the centrepiece for meaningful climate change action in New Zealand.

“Today we take a significant step forward in our plan to reduce New Zealand’s emissions.

“The Bill belongs to New Zealand and together we have ensured law that ensures we shift towards a low emissions country that keeps us all safe. The budgets provide the pathway towards the 2050 target and confidence for New Zealanders that we are moving towards a more climate-resilient future.”

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Other government-supported initiatives include strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme, the inclusion of agriculture in emissions pricing by 2024, the planting of one billion trees by 2028 and increased investment in green hydrogen and biofuels, with the aim of achieving 100% renewable electricity generation by 2035.

In addition, New Zealand looks set to join countries like Holland, England and Scotland in transitioning to electric and low emissions transport, with plans to make vehicles more affordable and the establishment of a $100 million Green Investment Fund.