Govt should honour Pacific Leaders’ call for climate action

The Green Party is calling on John Key to dramatically increase New Zealand’s emissions reduction target, as Pacific Island leaders today urge him to help protect their countries from disappearing due to sea-level rise.

It has been reported today that New Zealand officials are working hard to soften the climate change declaration to be endorsed by the meeting, including removing a reference to the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, which would help protect their countries from sea-level rise.

“John Key’s officials should be working to protect our Pacific neighbours, rather than advocate for policies that risk their survival.

“For our Pacific neighbours, climate change is a threat to their existence. The New Zealand Government has the power to help them by taking stronger climate action and advocating for a strong global climate treaty,” said Mr Shaw.

“The climate target that John Key has set, if replicated by all countries worldwide, would guarantee catastrophic climate change that would make many of our Pacific Island countries uninhabitable.

“The leaders of small Pacific Islands are pleading with the New Zealand Government to commit to greater climate action in New Zealand, and to use the Government’s influence at the United Nations to call for a limit to global warming of 1.5°C.”

At the Pacific Form currently underway in Port Moresby, Kiribati president Anote Tong said about Australia and New Zealand, “I think they need to come to the party, if they really are our friends then they should be looking after our future as well.”

Mr Shaw said, “Australia and New Zealand are the among the top five biggest per capita emitters in the world.

“In Parliament, the Prime Minister recently said that he would be open to increasing the target over time. That time ought to be now.  

“We were the first to give women the vote. We stood behind our Pacific neighbours in rejecting nuclear testing. Now it’s time for a climate plan New Zealanders can be proud of,” said Mr Shaw.