The extreme weather around New Zealand is a sign of things to come if action isn't taken by governments to halt the climate crisis, the Green Party said today.
On Wednesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared 2016 as the hottest recorded year on earth, surpassing 2015 and 2014 as the previous hottest years.
“The extremely dry conditions Northlanders are facing right now, and the storms that are rolling through the upper South and lower North Islands, mirror long-term climate change scenarios for those parts of New Zealand," said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“The science tells us it’s probable we’ll see more violent storms and more frequent, deeper droughts because of climate change.
“Northland farmers are doing it tough with about half the normal rainfall. Drought-like conditions hurt our communities, our economy and make our food supply more vulnerable.
“Wellingtonians are in a particularly vulnerable spot if the combination of rising seas and more intense storms plays out, as many homes and important infrastructure like roads and rail lines, are on the coast.
“All governments have a moral responsibility to ensure that the next generation doesn’t inherit a more volatile climate and unstable world.
“The Green Party in government would make sure our biggest climate polluters pay for their emissions, we’d prioritise transport investment in clean-energy rail and public transport, and transition New Zealand to 100 percent renewable electricity.
“National has chosen instead to allow climate pollution to rise a whopping 19 percent since it took power,” said Mr Shaw.