Go, New Zealand! Under the direction of the country’s new prime minister, Jacinda Arden, New Zealand will attempt to transition completely to renewables by 2035. By 2050, the ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ will produce zero emissions.
Ardern might have been elected as New Zealand’s new prime minister just last month, but she has already outlined a plan that seeks to ensure New Zealand operates on clean, renewable energy in less than 10 years. The goal is doable, as the nation already harvests more than 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, reports Futurism.
In 2016, for instance, the country obtained 60 percent of its electricity via hydropower. However, when the seasons change, the lake levels drop. This is when New Zealand relies on coal and gas to make up the difference. If the alternatives were nixed from the equation, the nation has a chance of meeting its goal. Of course, the repercussions of price hikes due to shortages need to be addressed and prevented first.
Toby Stevenson, a Wellington-based energy consultant, told Bloomberg that consumers in New Zealand may have to pay unusually high rates for electricity if potential hiccups are ignored. He added that renewables “may not deliver all the reliability that we’ve become used to.”
Arden is adamant New Zealand can meet its goal, however. And, transitioning to the country to renewables is just one part of her plan. By 2050, the new prime minister wants New Zealand to be emissions-free. Reportedly, she has already suggested the formation of an independent commission to help meet that objective. Young voters — the demographic to which she is most popular — appreciate the speed and efficiency at which she is keeping her promises.
Time will reveal if New Zealand meets its ambitious goal.
Worldwide, Governments Are Transitioning To Renewables
New Zealand isn’t the first nation to make such a commendable pledge. Far from it! Scotland has plants to completely transition its power grid to renewable sources by 2020, and France seeks to eliminate fossil fuel production by 2040.
Governments around the world are reassessing where and how they source energy, as mankind’s over-dependence on fossil fuels is wreaking havoc on the environment and contributing to climate change. CO2 emissions which are produced from the burning of fossil fuels become trapped in the atmosphere and raise global temperatures. When this occurs, ocean temperatures increase, resulting in melting glaciers. As glaciers melt, sea levels rise and weather patterns change. Hence, why we have experienced natural disasters more frequently of late, and also why the storms are stronger than normal.
97 percent of climate scientists now agree that global warming is a very real threat. This is why the Paris Climate Agreement — which has been signed by all countries except the United States — was formed. The aim is to reduce carbon emissions to prevent global temperatures from exceeding the “safe” point and, ultimately, maintain a habitable Earth for future generations.
This will only be accomplished if every nation on the planet agrees to invest in sustainable initiatives, and activists like yourself adopt eco-friendly habits, such as recycling, reusing and repurposing old items.
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