New Zealanders unite in call for climate change action

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One hundred eminent New Zealanders have united backing a call for the country's Parliament to comprehensively assess the risks of climate change to New Zealand and to draw up plans to deal with them.

The Wise Response appeal, backed by a list of distinguished people from academia, the arts, sports and other fields, was presented to lawmakers on Wednesday, with a warning that the country was ignoring the possible consequences of global climate change.

"So far, New Zealand has failed to truly face up to such unprecedented threats to its collective security. Indeed, some policies exacerbate the situation," said the appeal.

"There appears to be an unwavering faith that technological fixes will be found in time. Yet with scientists saying critical ' thresholds' are upon us, the odds of such solutions being found diminish by the day and the consequences of this faith being ill- founded will, in all probability, be disastrous and irreversible."

It urged legislators to consider five aspects of climate change: economic security in the event of a financial crisis; energy and climate security and the country's heavy dependence on fossil fuels; business continuity with a switch to a lower carbon economy; ecological security and protection; and measuring "progress" by methods other than consumption and GDP.

The signatories included former Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmers and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

Climate change group 350 Aotearoa, which supported the appeal, said thousands of ordinary New Zealanders had also added their signatures to the appeal, which was presented a week after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a dire report on the global climate.

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