Businesses, health professionals, scientists, faith leaders unite to call for action on climate change
Just home from UN climate talks in Marrakech, Climate Change Minister, Paula Bennett was sent an open letter today from businesses, health professionals, climate scientists, academics, faith groups, and prominent New Zealanders calling for action on climate change.
The letter has been signed by 60 signatories – representing a wide cross section of New Zealand interests, such as finance, transport, retail, fishing, tourism, hospitality, wine, conservation, science, beauty, medicine, health and religion. Signatories include Z Energy, The Warehouse Group, Fuji-Xerox, Ernst & Young, Sanford, Moana New Zealand, Whale Watch Kaikoura, Logan Brown, Villa Maria, The Body Shop, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Dame Ann Salmond, Sir Stephen Tindall, prominent climate scientists, New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine, Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, Aroha Mead, and Bishop Justin Duckworth.
The open letter calls for the government to set ambitious targets to reduce emissions, create a long-term plan for how to do it, and implement policies that can set us on the right path and empower New Zealanders to make low carbon choices.
Z Energy Chief Executive Mike Bennetts said “Kiwi business can and should lead in delivering a cleaner energy future for New Zealand”.
“With coherent, predictable policy, companies like ours can take swift and meaningful action,” Mr Bennetts said. “We’re keen to work in partnership with the New Zealand government and we’ll back the government in taking bold action.”
Logan Brown restaurateur, Steve Logan, added, “We have to put our hands up and take action on climate change so that future generations can also enjoy the quintessential Kiwi lifestyle that we do now”.
“I think the government should get stuck in and get on with it, and commit to action on climate change,” Mr Logan said.
New Zealand emissions have risen by 50% since 1990 and are projected to rise another 40% by 2030 under current policy settings.
WWF-New Zealand Senior Campaigner, Alex Smith, said, “Businesses and organisations across New Zealand are taking action on climate change, but to make the changes we need, at the pace we need, this must be backed up by government action to reduce emissions".
“New Zealand may be small, but our country matters. The whole world needs to act and that includes us.”
Last week Minister Bennett represented New Zealand at the UN talks on climate change in Marrakech, Morocco. The open letter was sent directly to the Minister today.