Nelson fires “tip of the ice sheet” without immediate emissions slash – Greenpeace


New Zealand scientists are behind a major new international research paper that shows dangerously unpredictable extreme weather could become a reality within decades as the impact of melting ice sheets becomes better understood.

Greenpeace climate campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says the study published in the journal Nature is the latest in a series of alarms being sounded that the world has a very short amount of time to drastically reduce emissions.

It follows the release of a shock report late last year by the world authority on climate change, the IPCC, predicting the world has just 10 years to halve global carbon emissions before being locked into warming that could cause mass extinctions and the displacement and death of tens of millions of people.

“We’ve all watched the news over the past couple of days and been shocked at the extent of the fires in Nelson and the terrible impact they’ve had on the local people, community, and wildlife,” Larsson says.

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“Extreme and dangerous weather events like the fires, droughts, floods, and storms we’ve seen more frequently here in New Zealand over the past few years are the tip of the ice sheet.

“The paper released yesterday spells out very clearly that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting rapidly, affecting ocean currents, which could lead to increasingly unpredictable extreme weather.”

Larsson says the only way to curb the melt is to stop burning fossil fuels. The study predicts current policies outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement will not be enough.

“We’ve known for decades that burning fuels like oil, gas and coal is the major driver of climate change,” she says.

“We must rapidly phase out these outdated fuels and replace them with large investments in clean energy like solar, wind, and electrified transport.

“New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to ban new oil and gas exploration permits under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s leadership. This is a brilliant first step – but we need to be taking great leaps.

“It has never been clearer that we have a moral responsibility to stop burning the fuels that are driving this crisis.

“In New Zealand this means ending all subsidies and support to the fossil fuel industry, banning new thermal power plants like gas peakers, and stopping imports of petrol and diesel vehicles. It also means significant investment and support for renewable energy like solar and wind.

“The release of this latest research led by New Zealanders is a wakeup call. We need immediate, innovative, and transformative changes to our domestic policy that will take us through to net zero emissions over the next few decades.”


  1. Greenpeace we agree that pollution of our planet and our environment is now reaching a ‘critical stage now affecting us all; – read our story here;

    Yes we are having the same ‘Kafkaesque-like experiences’ as “adversely health affected residents” in Napier now suffering under truck gridlocked toxic affects of trucks emitting noise, vibrations and air pollution and tyre dust reaching the inside/outside our homes and residential communities as truck freight is increasing over 12% a year and now reaching over 2600 truck trips to and from the Napier port every single day and that 12% annual increase will double to 25% every year from now on claims the Port CEO.

    IN HB Today our local paper, the Napier Port CEO has last week stated in our local press that truck freight to and from the port will increase another 187% by 2027 (or in eight years time).

    This means another 25% increase every single year massively increasing truck numbers every year from now on.

    Residents now are forced either to take sleeping aids or wear ear plugs and listen to radios all night to drown out the noise from trucks keeping them awake.

    Medical studies are confirming that living in this environment is causing public health damage to residents as the truck traffic increases and our community group asked NZ Human Rights for assistance and support and the NZ Human Rights said they cannot get involved with public health traffic issues!!!!!

    Question to you is;

    “Why are the NZ Human Rights Commission not able to defend ‘our human rights in NZ’ from exposure to toxic emissions from ‘industrial activities’ being forced upon us from private companies operating freight movements through sensitive residential zones”?

    Industrial activities were never sanctioned to become permitted in our residential areas when all those ‘sensitive residential zones’ were established and designated for Napier residential zones.

    Under the RMA under section 7 and 31 our “amenity values” have been destroyed and consequently our health risks and human rights have been violated.

    So these ‘industrial operations’ of road freight now travelling through our sensitive residential zones are contravening our human rights now.

    Why are NZ Human rights not protecting our human rights?

    We approached the Minister of justice office in Wellington for assistance and Andrew Little’s PA David Hawkins told us in a phone call that the minister cannot become involved with this matter.

    So we are effectively being forced to flee from our homes to prevent becoming damaged and sick and disabled, with no recompense for all those damages?

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