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National ministers proved wrong on climate change

22 March 2013

National ministers proved wrong on climate change

Climate denying National Government Ministers have been proven wrong with a climate scientist today confirming that more droughts are expected under climate change, the Green Party says.

This morning during an online media briefing Dr David Wratt, Chief Climate Scientist, NIWA, said he expected droughts to become more frequent as the century progressed: “The chances of having a drought are going to go up.”

He said under climate change, New Zealand weather would be more influenced by high pressure belts from the sub tropics and ‘to some extent’ that was happening this summer. Dr Wratt said current one in 20 year droughts would double by the 2080s.

“This scientific evidence is proof that the National Government is denying the obvious,” Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham said.

“Bill English and Steven Joyce equivocated about the connection between droughts and climate change when the Green Party challenged them in Parliament,” Dr Graham said.

“We have literally run out of time to spend arguing about climate change science and we need to act on that knowledge. The climate chicken will come home to roost in sectors like agriculture.

“New Zealand’s future is too important for National Government Ministers to bury their heads in the sand and pretend there isn’t a problem.

“The National Government is ignoring climate change and downgrading measures like an Emissions Trading Scheme to tackle it, but is also failing to future-proof key New Zealand industries like agriculture.

“New Zealand needs a government prepared to lead on climate change.
“We need to make a conscious decision to pursue a different path, one that respects environmental limits, and a path that seeks to make New Zealand a brand of integrity.
“A switch to a low carbon economy is in our economic interest now, and for the future,” Dr Graham said.

Further information:
Online Media briefing this morning on the drought http://www.sciencemediacentre.co.nz/2013/03/22/the-drought-soil-rivers-climate-outlook/

Question19 March Russel Norman and Steven Joyce
http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/1/2/e/50HansQ_20130319_00000004-4-Climate-Change-Policy-Extreme-Weather.htm

Question 13 March Russel Norman to Bill English
http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/2/7/6/50HansQ_20130313_00000005-5-Drought-Conditions-Government-Response.htm

ENDS

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