The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report into the likely impacts of climate change in New Zealand is a massive wakeup call, the Green Party said today.
The report, out today, says New Zealand is already being affected by extreme weather from climate change, and that worse is to come, with serious risks to agriculture, tourism, coastal settlements and native species.
“The report is clear – climate change is a threat to New Zealand and our way of life. By failing to take it seriously, the National Government is failing to protect New Zealand,” said Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman.
“National’s policies are driving up climate-changing emissions, it has failed to help our regions adapt and prepare, and it is refusing to show any leadership globally on the issue.”
The IPCC report is the most comprehensive investigation into the impacts of climate change ever undertaken. Globally, it predicts the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, reduced crop yields and the loss of trillions of dollars from the global economy.
But it also offers the first look at New Zealand-specific impacts. It predicts that continued warming will lead to increased flood and drought risk, more heat extremes, rising snow lines, and more intense tropical cyclones.
“Like all Kiwis, the Green Party loves our country and we want to protect it from the worst impacts of climate change.
“The IPCC report is proof we need to turn a corner on our climate change policy or suffer the consequences.
“Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is an opportunity to create a smarter, greener and more resilient economy and to protect the Kiwi way of life. Taking action on climate change is a win-win,” said Dr Norman.
“It is time we had a government that demonstrates real leadership to protect our country, economy and environment.”