New Zealand PM John Key Calls on Bigger Countries to Cut Carbon Emissions
By Reissa Su | April 1, 2014 3:31 PM EST
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the country takes the issue of climate change seriously but called on the help of "big emitters" to make some changes or else the problem will only "get worse."
An environmental activist places his hand on a giant globe in a rally demanding more action to battle climate change during the 19th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) in Warsaw November 16, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
A new report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said New Zealand is not in prepared for the effects of climate change. Mr Key said the New Zealand government will adapt to the effects of climate change which the IPCC said could threaten agriculture and bring frequent extreme weather events.
The IPCC report has pointed out that New Zealand is already experiencing the effects of climate change based on recent extreme weather events. The country can expect future storms to be more intense and frequent which will result in damage to low-lying ecosystems and coastal infrastructure.
Mr Key said New Zealand accounts for only 0.2 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. He said the country's emissions are "pretty small" compared to other bigger nations. He urged big emitters around the world to act on climate change and unless bigger countries reduce their emissions, he believes the problem will only get worse.
However, New Zealand Greens co-leader Russel Norman said the IPCC report is a huge wake-up call for the country. Mr Norman said the National party's policies have increased emissions and failed to assist regions to prepare.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said New Zealand will have to play its role in reducing carbon emissions. Peter Hardstaff, head of campaigns for WWF, said it is possible for New Zealand to have a future with clean energy. He said New Zealand has rich renewable natural resources. Mr Hardstaff suggested that the government should invest in renewable energy than fossil fuels.
ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte has called on the government to abolish the emissions trading scheme immediately. He said it was a wrong climate change policy for New Zealand.
According to New Zealand scientists, the IPCC report was a "wake-up call" as the government welcomed the IPCC's analysis. The climate change report said the human-influenced global warming will have an increase of temperature between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius.
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