Report by NewsroomPlus.com – With the United Nations Climate Change Conference coming up in three weeks, New Zealanders are jumping on board to back the conference’s aspirations to lower global greenhouse gas emissions.
On Sunday over one hundred Aucklanders took part in an environmentally friendly tour of the North Shore. With attendees using bicycles, electric bikes, electric cars, and even an electric bus to promote their ‘green fleet’, these New Zealanders endeavoured to raise awareness of the environmental damage we are doing now, and what changes need to come in the future.
Zoe Lenzie-Smith as one of the New Zealand Youth Delegates attending the upcoming conference: “I am proud to be a young New Zealander, and as a small country we know how to make a stand, whether it’s for women’s right to vote or the rugby world cup. But, for climate action, we’re going backwards – New Zealand has some of the highest greenhouse gas pollution levels in the developed world. We’re soon to lose our international standing, if we continue with our weak pollution reduction targets and no plan in place to reach them”.
With the upcoming conference located in Paris, New Zealand will be joining the global meeting with more than 190 other nations.
New Zealand will be put under the spotlight considering the skyrocketing of greenhouse emissions since 1990, with a 42% rise in net emissions in just twenty three years. The New Zealand government have prepared targets to reduce emissions to 11% below 1990 levels, yet have not yet clarified how they plan to put this into action.
Education and Advocacy Manager at Tearfund NZ, Murray Sheard, acknowledged global progress, but pushed for further improvement:
“In the last 20 years, we have lifted more people out of poverty than ever before. But the better we’ve got at development, the worse we’ve got at sustainability. Not only could climate change undo all our progress, it will force people from their homes, including our closest neighbours in the Pacific.”
With this relevant to the recent rejection of climate change refugee Ioane Teitiota, New Zealand has a lot to answer for in addressing the needs of the environment. Not only will the conference call leaders to take smart, sustainable action, but initiatives such as the ‘green fleet’ tour in Auckland shows that New Zealanders are ready to make the necessary changes.
Wayne Walker – Auckland councillor and Chair of the council’s Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee – attended the event, and got on his bike to join the demonstration. “It’s great to see so many of the local community get behind this important grass-roots initiative, especially all the families that have come by to show their support; they are sending a clear message that they want a clean energy future for our kids.”
This is one of a series of nationwide community initiated demonstrations to promote action preventing global warming.
About the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference
- The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris from 30th November to 11th December.
- The governments of more than 190 nations will gather to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global temperature increase to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels – the threshold beyond which scientists estimate global warming will become catastrophic and irreversible.
- The objective is to achieve, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
- For more information, see the following summary article: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/02/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-paris-climate-summit-and-un-talks
According to the recently published state of the environment report, New Zealand saw a 42 percent increase in net greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2013. And a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gave New Zealand a poor mark for the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced not only per capita, but also relative to its economic production.
The New Zealand government has a target of reducing emissions by 11 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, which it will take to Paris in December. This has been criticised as insufficient by independent environmental monitors, Climate Action Tracker. The government has also not made it clear what the plan is in order to achieve the 11 per cent target.