The Government has turned its back on local councils as they struggle to deal with increasing risks from climate change, the Green Party said today.
“Climate Change Minister Tim Groser’s comment that it’s ‘up to local authorities to do what is needed’ is a massive abdication of responsibility,” said Green Party Climate Change spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.
“Not only is National failing to mitigate against the worst effects of climate change by reducing New Zealand’s emissions, it is also leaving local councils to deal with the fallout.”
Mr Groser made the comment in response to the release of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report into widespread risks to New Zealand from a changing climate.
“Local councils are desperate for guidance and direction from central Government on how to deal with climate change. But instead Mr Groser has stuck his head further in the sand,” said Dr Graham.
“The IPCC report makes it clear climate change is a threat to New Zealand and our way of life. We need leadership from Government but instead we get the Minister wiping his hands of the problem.
“Mr Groser even told media that ‘we’re not playing God on this… natural process will determine what happens to adaptation of human beings’.
“This is an absurd response to a global crisis, especially when the IPCC report makes it clear that mitigation remains crucial and could make a real difference.
“The National Government might be willing to sit back and wait for climate change to do its worst, but the Green Party is not. We would act to protect our country, economy and environment.”