New Zealand Leads by Example. Commentary Tim Watkin, The Guardian Ulimited, September 25, 2007.
"As the world's leaders gather in New York to discuss climate change at the United Nations, one of the world's smaller countries is showing just how much can be done. New Zealand has long had a reputation for being 'clean and green' and has a proud record of conservation, with around 30% of its total land area being protected from development. Last week it announced bold plans [PDF 32 pages] to tackle climate change, following up on a goal set by prime minister Helen Clark at the start of the year for New Zealand to become the world's first carbon neutral country. Among the stated targets, to be legislated within the next year, is generating 90% of the country's electricity from renewable sources by 2025. This leaves California's goal of 80% by 2050 and Britain's goal of 60% by 2050 in the shade. (We should note that New Zealand is well ahead of the game, with close to 70% of its power already coming from renewables). What's more it expects its electricity sector to be entirely carbon neutral by 2025, followed by the stationary energy sector (coal and gas) in 2030 and the transport sector in 2040. It laid out a range of ways to achieve those targets, such a net increase in forest area of 250,000 hectares by 2020 and the wide use of electric cars. Government departments are leading the way; all 47 have emission-cutting plans and six - including treasury and the tax department, funnily enough - will be carbon neutral by 2012."
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