Let’s call on Minister Shaw to back the Pacific
Climate change is here, and – as we’ve seen across Aotearoa and the Pacific this summer – it’s already having real and devastating impacts.
The latest report from the IPCC, the UN’s top panel of climate scientists, tells us that we can still keep the Paris Agreement’s goal of 1.5 degrees in reach, but to do that, we need to make deep emissions cuts now.
The IPCC report’s recommendations revealed that New Zealand is currently way off track from where we need to be. A recent assessment from Climate Action Tracker showed that New Zealand’s climate action is Highly Insufficient – just one step above their worst possible rating. If all countries followed New Zealand’s approach, we’d be on track for 3 or even 4 degrees of warming.
But while Aotearoa might not be leading on climate action, we don’t have to look far to find those who are.
Recently, Ministers from six Pacific nations released the groundbreaking Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific. In it, Pacific leaders have shown a clear path forward to a 1.5 degree future, through urgent fossil fuel phase out and effective climate action. These Ministers have made strong and visionary commitments, but they’ve also challenged countries like ours to step up to the mark.
The meeting in Port Vila took place amongst the devastation left by two major cyclones that hit communities in Vanuatu earlier in March 2023. Surrounded by the very impacts they are fighting to prevent, Pacific Ministers didn’t hold back in putting blame where it belongs:
The science is clear that fossil fuels are to blame for the climate emergency. This is a crisis driven by the greed of an exploitative industry and its enablers.
Right now, we have a chance to show that Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate commitments are more than just rhetoric, and that we’re ready to take real and bold action. We could show the world that our country is a real climate leader.
Together, we can call on Minister for Climate Change of New Zealand James Shaw to show that we stand with the Pacific, and endorse the Port Vila Call.