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PM must confront US with impact of climate decision

The Green Party is calling on the Prime Minister to invite Pacific Island ambassadors to meet with the US Secretary of State next week so they can explain first-hand the consequences of the US decision to withdraw from the Climate Agreement.

The call comes ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to New Zealand on Tuesday, and following the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Bill English has a responsibility to convey to the Trump Administration the consequences of its decision. He should invite Pacific ambassadors to talk about the threat climate change poses to their countries," said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Bill English will be one of the first leaders to meet with the US Secretary of State following this decision to withdraw. He has an obligation to send a message to the US that New Zealand and the international community condemns this decision.

“Pacific Island nations will be the first to feel the devastation of US climate inaction. They should have the chance to confront the US Secretary of State with the reality of Trump’s decision.

“Climate change is already harming the Pacific with more intense cyclones, rising seas, and a warming ocean that threatens fish stocks.

“New Zealand has stood up to the US on nuclear weapons; it’s now time to show the same moral leadership on climate change," said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.