NZ must step up as US steps down

New Zealand must join with other countries and step up as a climate leader in the wake of the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Green Party said today.

This morning President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, joining just two other countries – Nicaragua and Syria – who have rejected the global accord.

“The US might be abdicating its moral leadership on climate change, but New Zealand should join with world leaders today and promise to put the environment and future generations first," said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“As long as the rest of the world stands united I am confident that global action on climate change will continue over the next four years.

“New Zealand should join with China, the European Union and other countries promising to accelerate efforts to reduce climate pollution.

“National should not use the US decision as an excuse to continue to do nothing on climate change, or worse to justify plans to open new coal mines and expand risky oil and gas exploration in New Zealand waters.

“There is simply too much at stake in New Zealand for us to sit on our hands and do nothing. Climate change will see our farmers facing longer, more severe droughts and all of us experiencing more frequent intense storms and flooding.

“Starting the transition away from pollution-intensive industries is also in our best interest. Investing in modern public transport, clean energy and sustainable farming is good for jobs, our health, and our environment.

“We should be taking action to create a cleaner economy and healthier environment irrespective of what happens in the US,” said Mr Shaw.

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