A startling new international report by the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on the state of the climate has found the number of named storms in the South Pacific has almost doubled above the annual average, which should prompt the National Government to dramatically revise its target for reducing climate damaging pollution, the Green Party said today.
Commenting on the release of the Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 2015, the WMO Director described temperatures in January and February this year as "startlingly high", and said “our planet is sending a powerful message to world leaders to sign an implement the Paris agreement on climate change and cut greenhouse gases now before we pass the point of no return”.
The report also highlights that the number of ‘named storms’ in the South Pacific almost doubled in 2015 above the annual average of six.(1) Most recently, Fiji was hit by the strongest cyclone on record to occur in the Southern Hemisphere.(2)
“The National Government's climate target has been described as ‘inadequate’ by international experts.(3) John Key must commit to making far more ambitious cuts in climate damaging pollution to stop being part of the climate problem,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“John Key is continuing to prop up polluters who are destabilising our climate. He needs to think hard about whether this is the legacy he wants to leave his children and future generations.
“Since agreeing to curb climate damaging pollution in Paris last year, John Key has chosen to open up New Zealand for more oil drilling, committed $1.5 billion to build new motorways, and refused to make agricultural and ‘trade-exposed’ polluters cut emissions.
“Many New Zealand farmers and business are already showing it’s possible to make big cuts in climate damaging pollution without sacrificing profit. We need the Government to level the playing field and get the rest of the economy to follow suit,” said Mr Shaw.
(1) https://www.wmo.int/media/content/state-climate-record-heat-and-weather-... - see page 20 of the report. ‘Named storms’ are storms judged to have a medium to high impact.