Dutch court ruling on climate change should spur NZ Govt to act

The New Zealand Government must dramatically increase its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as public demands for change both at home and internationally raise serious questions about inaction on climate, the Green Party said today.

Last night, a Dutch court ordered the Dutch Government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent in the next five years, in order to protect its citizens from climate change. It had been sued by citizens for neglecting to look after its people.

This morning, activists from Greenpeace scaled Parliament House in New Zealand, and erected solar panels, calling for more decisive action on climate change in the face of Government ambivalence.

“The Government must wake up to the fact that young people both here and around the world are demanding action from their Governments to protect both their people and their environment from the effects of climate change,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The Dutch court at the Hague has decided that its Government’s action is not enough to avert the imminent danger caused by climate change, despite them being ahead of us already. That shows how flimsy New Zealand’s weak targets are.

“New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions per capita are higher than the Netherlands, and we have a smaller emissions reduction target.

“The ruling says that the State has a responsibility for controlling emissions levels, and has a duty of care to protect and improve the living environment. Meanwhile, here in New Zealand greenhouse gases are increasing under the National Government.

“These two events show that there is building momentum on governments to take action in the face of the greatest challenge the world has yet seen. People are frustrated with their governments, who are charged with emissions control and with looking after their citizens,” Mr Shaw said.


The Dutch court ruling is here: http://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2015:7196



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