A major new report on climate change shows that New Zealand must play its part in reducing emissions yet the National Government continues to deny the problem even exists, the Green Party said today.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report – a full and final version of the draft released last year – finds that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, that human influence on the climate system is clear, and limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
“This report is the definitive measure of where the world is at with climate change – it does not make comfortable reading, and it calls on countries like New Zealand to take urgent action. Yet we’re doing the opposite,” said Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham.
“National has gutted the ETS, set a weak 2020 target and yesterday admitted in Parliament that it has no intention of setting a longer term emissions reduction target, as requested by the UN as part of its global deal process,” said Dr Graham.
“Far from achieving emissions reductions, National’s policies mean New Zealand is now on track to increase its emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Using a net-to-net basis for emissions, the increase is actually about 300%.
“This is shocking when you read the IPCC’s findings and consider the impact climate change is already having both in New Zealand and around the world.”
The Insurance Council estimated last week that weather-related events led to more than $174 million of insured costs in New Zealand last year, making it one of the costliest years for weather related losses since the council started tracking in 1968.
Climate scientists are predicting the frequency and extremity of extreme weather events to continue.
“Climate change is already impacting negatively on our economy, but the current Government seems happy to ignore this and ignore the advice of world’s leading climate scientists,” Dr Graham said.
“Any government of which the Green Party is a part will ensure that our emissions direction is turned around through serious climate policy.”
02/01/2014 – 08:43