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Incoming New Zealand coalition aims to reduce carbon footprint

New Zealand's new incoming coalition government has announced agreements on measures to reduce the country's carbon footprint. Agreed measures revealed include increasing forest cover, investing in cycle paths and rail transportation and transitioning the power sector to 100 percent renewables.

Announcing the coalition agreement October 24 in Wellington, New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister-elect Winston Peters (left) with New Zealand Labour Party leader and Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern (AP Photo/Nick Perry).

New Zealand’s incoming government, a coalition led by New Zealand Labour Party together with New Zealand First and Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, has revealed measures outlined in the coalition agreements that aim to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, improve the environment and economic prosperity.

New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, who takes over as Prime Minister this week, said that the agreements with New Zealand First and Green Party set out a “positive agenda” for the Labour-led coalition. Labour’s own climate change manifesto includes legally binding net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This will be a government of action. We will be determined and focused on what needs to change to make life better for all New Zealanders. As a priority, we will restore funding to the health system to allow access for all, ensure all Kiwis can live in warm, dry homes, take action on child poverty and homelessness, crack down on foreign speculators, clean our rivers, and strengthen efforts to tackle climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy. We are committed to being fiscally responsible and growing the economy while ensuring all New Zealanders share in our economic prosperity. We firmly believe economic growth must also go hand-in-hand with environmental responsibility, said Prime Minister-elect Ardern.

The 37-year-old will be New Zealand’s youngest leader in 150 years and takes over following nine years of rule by the conservative National Party.

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