Green MP Apologies for NZ Climate Change Failure
New Zealand Green MP Kennedy Graham has apologised to Pacific leaders on behalf of New Zealanders who disagreed with their government’s decision not to sign the Copenhagen Agreement on reducing carbon emissions and alleviating climate change. Mr. Graham made the apology at the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum, held in Wellington, writes Islands Business. Mr. Graham was reported as telling the Forum that NZ had ‘failed to respond adequately’ to the climate change threat, and the Pacific needed to send a clear message to the New Zealand government and other western governments that international action was needed. He told Islands Business that scientific evidence pointed overwhelmingly to climate change being a pressing reality for Pacific nations, with ninety-seven per cent of scientists supporting the idea that it was the preventable result of human activity. ‘You are talking in terms of millimetres and centimetres – and it’s a time-factored thing. But there is nothing more important for the international community, than tackling climate change now – not in 2020 and not in 2030 – to avoid the problems of 2020 or 2050. We’ve heard, from the people that feel it and experience it, that it is there. What else do we need by way of justification for acting?’ he concluded. Delegates from some of the world’s most low-lying islands explained how rising sea levels were affecting their way of life. Tafua Maluelue Tafua, a Samoan cabinet minister and former North Shore councillor, told the Forum he had seen the consequences of several severe storms – including cycles and floods that caused numerous deaths and widespread destruction. New Zealand Labour MP Shane Jones told delegates that protecting fishing stocks from overfishing by Chinese multinationals was essential to sustaining the Pacific economy.’ We must make sure ‘Chinese presence is a net positive and it does not lead to resource degradation’, he told delegates according to Islands Business.