Since Jacinda Ardern became New Zealand’s prime minister in 2017, she’s emerged as one of the world’s most effective heads of government during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as being a passionate leader on climate issues.
The government's climate friendly initiatives over recent years have included banning all future offshore oil exploration, planting 100 million trees a year, and capping the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in a bid to protect freshwater from agricultural pollution.
Now, Ardern has pledged that, if her Labour party is re-elected in October, all energy generation in the country will be 100% renewable by 2030. This accelerates the previous target of phasing out all non-renewable energy by 2035.
Echoing similar thoughts around the world Ardern says that “the COVID-19 economic recovery represents a once in a generation opportunity to reshape New Zealand’s energy system to be more renewable faster, affordable and secure. Investment in renewable energy is also jobs rich. Our plan will creating new jobs and develop the high skill workforce our future economy needs to thrive.”
Labour Energy Spokesperson Megan Woods added: “Our plan for clean energy and lower carbon emissions will help us seize the economic opportunities of being the clean, green country that New Zealanders see ourselves as being and that we can market ourselves as.”
If the Labour Party wins the national election and delivers on its promises, New Zealand could soon join Iceland and Paraguay in the list of nations that rely on 100% renewable sources for energy. Costa Rica is also an impressively green country, with 99% of its energy coming from green sources.