Transport minister Gerry Brownlee’s refusal to accept that man-made climate change is real is both deeply embarrassing and deeply concerning says Labour’s climate change spokesperson Moana Mackey.
“The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report considers man-made global warming “extremely likely” – an elevation from the IPCC’s 2007 assessment which classified it as “very likely”. While this might seem like semantics to some, in scientific terms it is extremely significant.
“It reflects the overwhelming scientific consensus that it is human activities that have caused the problem and that only a change in human behaviour can mitigate the most serious impacts of climate change on our planet.
“It is extraordinary that in this day and age senior Ministers in the National Government are still debating the science of climate change.
“I wonder whether Minister Brownlee thinks that the thousands of scientists around the world who have been working on this issue for decades are mistaken, lying, or perhaps participating in a global conspiracy to fool us all?
“It’s as ridiculous as his claim that he was set up by TV3 to look foolish. His antiquated views on climate change are what embarrassed him – nothing else.
“Transport accounts for 19% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and 42% of our carbon dioxide emissions. It has been the single fastest growing sector with emissions increasing 63% since 1990. New Zealander’s can have no confidence that Minister Brownlee will do anything to reduce transport emissions.”