The Public Service Association welcomes the government’s declaration of a climate emergency, and supports the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in the public service itself by 2025.
Requiring agencies to buy electric vehicles and achieve a ‘green standard’ in government buildings is a significant and positive step, and the PSA argues this should lead toward further policies that help all New Zealanders reduce their emissions.
As part of its campaign for universal basic services (the Aotearoa Wellbeing Commitment) the PSA argues free public transport would allow New Zealanders to reduce their carbon footprints.
“With today’s motion to Parliament, the government acknowledges a climate emergency that already exists,” says PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk.
“By committing to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in public sector agencies and SOEs, the government ensures this declaration is more than symbolic.”
The PSA recently held its biennial congress, where the Prime Minister heard an impassioned speech from the floor by a Pasefika woman delegate about the urgent need to save her homeland from rising sea levels.
Alongside the wider New Zealand and international labour movement the PSA is committed to the fight for green jobs, clean energy and a Just Transition for workers in polluting industries.
“The PSA takes climate change very seriously, because for thousands of our members it is an imminent threat to their families and their homelands. Through our Pasefika Network and our Eco Network, the need for rapid reduction of carbon emissions is kept firmly at the top of our union’s priority list,” says Ms Polaczuk.
“We are thrilled to see the Prime Minister taking concrete steps to address this emergency. PSA members will do whatever we can to support and implement policies that protect the environment.”