Sunday December 15, 2019
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5.8 magnitude severe earthquake jolts New Zealand

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A severe intensity earthquake, measuring 5.8 on the richter scale has hit the New Zealand’s South Island today.

The tremor centred 30 km north-west of Wanaka town was of a severe intensity, according to GeoNet, the island country’s earthquake monitoring agency.

The quake was followed by two aftershocks of intensity 3.5M and 3.1M around the Wanka town, the agency reported.

Though tremors were also felt as far as the capital city of Wellington,  due to the distance from populated centres, it is not expected to cause extensive damage.

The quake comes in the backdrop of the massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake that jolted Nepal on April 25, killing more than 7,000 people. The landlocked nation still has not fully recovered from the calamity.

 

 

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New Zealand Passes Zero Carbon Bill Aimed at Combating Climate Change

We in New Zealand are on the right side of history, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech at Parliament

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New Zealand, Carbon, Bill
Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy. Pixabay

New Zealand on Thursday passed a bill to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord.

“I am really proud to stand in this House today for what is a historic moment… Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy… We in New Zealand are on the right side of history,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech at Parliament.

The law commits New Zealand to keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, as stipulated by the Paris Agreement and marks an important step in the fight against the climate emergency looming over the world according to more than 11,000 scientists worldwide, reports Efe news.

“We’ve led the world before in nuclear free and votes for women, now we are leading again,” Climate Change Minister James Shaw tweeted.

New Zealand, Carbon, Bill
The zero emissions target excludes methane emissions but the law pledges to reduce them gradually. Pixabay

The zero emissions target excludes methane emissions but the law pledges to reduce them gradually.

The law includes the establishment of a green investment fund worth NZ$100 million ($64 million), a carbon trading scheme and inclusion of agriculture in emissions pricing by 2025, and the plantation of one billion trees by 2028, according to a statement by the Ministry of Climate Change.

The law also stipulates suspending the release of new permits for hydrocarbon explorations at sea and supports the production of cheaper electric vehicles apart from setting a goal of 100 per cent renewable electricity generation by 2035.

The legislation aims to cut biological methane emissions from agriculture by 10 per cent until 2030, and targets 24-47 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050.

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Simon Bridges, leader of the opposition and the New Zealand National Party, said that his party supported the bill but would keep trying to introduce changes in the future in order to make it better. (IANS)