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Hard Action Needed To Stop Climate Catastrophe


Embargo 10.00pm New Zealand time

19 February 2001: Auckland: Greenpeace today warned that to avoid a climate change catastrophe hard action is urgently needed.

The warning follows the findings of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the worlds leading experts in the field, which finalised its third assessment report on the impacts of climate change in Geneva today.

Climate change is primarily caused by the burning of fossil fuels, releasing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere every year.

“The IPCC report shows that we are facing a climate emergency”, said Sue Connor Greenpeace campaigner. “It is time for all governments to take this threat seriously, by rapidly increasing investment and support for a renewable energy future”.

“The only way to avoid the worst impacts of climate change is to reject fossil fuels and rapidly change over to renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydrogen”, said Connor. “It is abundantly clear that we cannot afford to delay the renewable energy revolution”.

“If we do not reduce the release of greenhouse gases we risk large scale and irreversible impacts, such as the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic icesheets, shutting down of the Gulf Stream, and massive releases of greenhouse gases from melting permafrost and dying forests”, said Connor

“New Zealand’s unique ecology could be devastated by climate change”, said Connor. “The report notes that some species with restricted ecological niches could become endangered or extinct, and that New Zealand’s freshwater wetlands are vulnerable”.

“The impacts of climate change will hit the entire globe, from the meltdown of icesheets and glaciers to the flooding of small Island states with massive ecological, social and economic disruption”, said Connor.

Greenpeace is calling on the government and fossil fuel industries to immediately and generously invest in new renewable energy such as wind, solar and hydrogen.

For more information please contact Sue Connor, Greenpeace campaigner on (09) 630 6317 or 025 927 301.

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