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Maori Climate Commissioner speaks on UN Summit

Māori Climate Commissioner, Donna Awatere Huata, has denounced the UN Climate talks in Poland as morally despicable and a wasted opportunity to the challenge of climate change.

"It is barely two months since the world’s leading scientists told us that unless we set more ambitious targets, the world is currently on track to achieve a 3 degree planet - a catastrophe for the vulnerable - extinction for many species - extreme unbearable weather events. .

"It has taken 15 days to merely agree on setting the rules for accounting and recording greenhouse gas emissions. But the really important issue, the one that will keep warming to 1.5 degrees by setting more ambitious targets to be implemented urgently was put aside to be discussed at next years conference. To achieve the 1.5 degree limit requires a world wide cut of 45% in gas emissions by 2030. Scientists are telling us in no uncertain terms that that window of opportunity is fast closing making this delay even more morally despicable. The irony of the conference was that it was sponsored by the coal industry and Poland made it clear that coal which fuels 80% of its energy is there to stay.

"Refusing to wean the planet off fossil fuels, no clear target for 2030 and what amounts to little more than vague promises to record existing emissions are not a victory, not a 'breakthrough' and only a 'step in the right direction' if the alternative was to do nothing at all."

On September 30th, 1938, British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, stepped off a plane and waved a signed document with Hitler declaring 'Peace for our time'. His appeasement pre-empted the invasion of Poland, I fear we have seen another appeasement in Poland 80 years later with a threat far more dangerous to our species than the fight against fascism.


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