Greenpeace Aotearoa says that Budget 2023 must balance the books on the climate, and is calling on the Government to ensure that the response to this year’s devastating climate disasters is coupled with funding for urgent climate action.

Greenpeace campaigner Christine Rose says, “Budget 2023 must be a Climate Budget which addresses our most polluting industries: agriculture, transport, and energy. Communities across Aotearoa have felt the devastating impacts of climate change firsthand this year.”

“This Budget, and all future Budgets, must recognise that without emissions reductions, events like Cyclone Gabrielle will get more frequent and more severe. The Government must ensure that finance to increase our resilience and respond to climate disasters is balanced by funding to actively stop climate change from getting worse.

“That means Government investment to end our dependence on fossil fuels, as well as low-emissions transport – increasing funding for walking, cycling, and public transport, especially rail, and ensuring free fares for all. Most importantly, it means funding to transition our agriculture systems away from intensive dairying towards ‘ecological’ practices – low emissions, regenerative, organic farming,” says Rose.

“A balanced Climate Budget would also see fair emissions pricing so that the country’s worst climate polluters like dairy giant Fonterra, pay their way – instead of costs being borne by communities and taxpayers like they are at present.”

54% of New Zealanders want the Government to take more urgent action on climate change, according to a One News poll in March.

“That should be a clear steer to Hipkins’ Government – as if this year’s climate disasters haven’t been enough. This year’s election will be a climate election, and political parties need to pay attention,” says Rose.

“People across Aotearoa who have lost their homes and livelihoods to floods and storms are looking for a Government that delivers on climate action. Hipkins needs to remember that there are no sausage rolls on a dead planet – and no votes either.”