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IPCC report a call for action on climate change

27 September 2013

IPCC report a call for action on climate change

The Inter-government Panel on Climate Change’s latest 5-year report shows that climate change is here and now, and we need to act urgently to prevent catastrophe, Green Party climate change spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said today.

The IPCC’s AR5 assessment report on the science of climate change, released today, is its first major report since 2007. It finds: “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 19512010. There is high confidence that this has warmed the ocean, melted snow and ice, raised global mean sea level, and changed some climate extremes… Continued emissions of greenhouse gases would cause further warming… Changes are projected to occur in all regions of the globe, and include changes in land and ocean, in the water cycle, in the cryosphere, in sea level, in some extreme events and in ocean acidification… Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions of CO2 emissions.” This is the IPCC’s strongest warning yet on the threat climate change poses.

“The IPCC has delivered a stark message: the climate is changing and we need to immediately reduce our greenhouse gas emissions dramatically to prevent runaway warming,” said Dr Graham.

“The Key Government’s reaction to climate change has been to bury its head in the sand, and it isn’t working. New Zealand’s emissions are on the rise and National’s reduction targets are pitiful.

“Every move that the current Government has made has been to undermine policies that limit emissions. It’s not even that National is putting the economy ahead of the environment. Rather, they’re putting short-term political interests ahead of New Zealand’s long-term needs. National has consistently put short-term profit of vested interests ahead of the need for a stable climate, which our agriculture-based economy and our natural environment both depend upon.

“This year, New Zealand has experienced its worst summer drought in generations and our warmest winter on record. A series of extremely violent storms has caused of $100 million worth of damage, making 2013 one of New Zealand’s worst years for storm damage. These are precisely the destructive climate changes that the models have long warned will happen unless we curtail our greenhouse emissions, and they’ll only get worse. We can’t afford not to act.

“The excuse that we can’t reduce our agricultural emissions, which make up nearly half our total, doesn’t wash. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation has just published findings that livestock emissions can be reduced by 30% through better management using existing techniques and technologies.

“There is no excuse for inaction. The climate change threat is real and immediate, and we have the tools to reduce our emissions. It’s time to stop prevaricating and get on with the job for the sake of our environment and our economy,” said Dr Graham.


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