Government must back Pacific calls for climate action

In the wake of cyclone Pam, the National Government must respond to calls from our Pacific neighbours to take real action on climate change, the Green Party said today.

 

In the wake of cyclone Pam, the National Government must respond to calls from our Pacific neighbours to take real action on climate change, the Green Party said today.

“John Key has said in the past that New Zealand should be a responsible international citizen and tackle climate change, but it is currently contributing to the problems of the Pacific Islands and making climate change worse,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“New Zealand’s net emissions have increased by 20% under the National Government, and according to the Government’s own projections emissions are expected to rise by 48% in the next decade.

“Yesterday, the President of Vanuatu highlighted the contribution climate change is making to the devastation his nation is facing in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.

“The Government cannot say on the one hand that it supports our Pacific neighbours while on the other hand doing nothing to tackle climate change and increasing our emissions.”

Helen Clark said at the United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan yesterday that, "Unless we tackle climate change on the global level we are making the task of building resilience to disasters almost impossible."

The President of Kiribati Anote Tong yesterday also made a call for leaders to make greater commitments to tackle climate change and said climate change “impinges on our rights … and our survival into the future.”

Dr Norman said, “Let’s be clear: John Key’s Government is making climate change worse and in doing so helping to threaten the survival of our Pacific neighbours.

“New Zealand could be a positive influence on the world when it comes to tackling climate change. Instead, the Government is stalling efforts to achieve a binding and ambitious climate agreement and is increasing New Zealand’s emissions dramatically.

“The Government has a choice to make. It can take up the challenge from Pacific leaders and ambitiously reduce our emissions and be on the right side of history, or it can continue being part of the problem,” said Dr Norman.

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