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IPCC report reinforces need for climate action

Hon David Parker
Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues

21 November 2007
Media statement

IPCC report reinforces need for climate change action

The latest report from the UN’s climate change panel reiterates the need for concerted and urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Climate Change Minister David Parker says.

Fresh from sharing this year’s Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice-president Al Gore, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its fourth and final 2007 report on global climate change.

David Parker welcomed the release of the global Synthesis Report in Valencia, Spain, which underlines findings released earlier this year and supports calls for urgent action.

The Minister said the information the IPCC produced made a clear case that governments can act and must act to avert dangerous climate change.

“It confirms the increasing pace of climate change, and the serious impacts we and the rest of the globe may face if we do not get greenhouse gas emissions under control.”

The report reiterates that with technologies that are available and affordable today, or that are currently being developed, New Zealand along with the rest of the world can cut emissions and avoid the worst of the projected impacts of climate change.

“In addition, a number of actions stand to deliver additional economic, environmental and health benefits. It confirms that it’s cheaper to take action on climate change than not. Even at the household level, simple steps can cut vehicle fuel and energy bills significantly, and improve people’s health while cutting emissions,” David Parker said.

In September the Government announced a policy package to tackle climate change – including an emissions trading scheme –that encompasses many of the measures the IPCC list as being effective and affordable. These include measures to put a price on carbon, increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures, develop more renewable energy and expand the use of biofuels.

“This Synthesis Report integrates and presents in a useful and readable way the enormous amounts of scientific information contained in the three volumes of the underlying reports, and allows us to see even more clearly the connections between our actions and the health of the planet.

“We all have a very real opportunity to take effective action on climate change and leave ourselves better off today, and in the long run,” David Parker concluded.

David Parker's press releases and speeches can be found at: www.beehive.govt.nz/parker

Notes to editors

• The IPCC’s first report in February confirmed that climate change is happening and that it is very likely human activity is responsible for much of it in recent times.
• The second report in April painted a clear picture of climate change impacts that the world, including New Zealand, is already experiencing and those that it is very likely we will face from now on.
• The third report spelt out that practical and cost effective measures to reduce emissions are available.

For details of the IPCC ‘Climate Change 2007’ Report, see: www.ipcc.ch


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