22 Nov 2016

Open letter demands climate action from NZ govt

9:44 am on 22 November 2016

Businesses, scientists and health professionals have come together in an unprecedented move to pressure the government to do more to tackle New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions.

New Zealand Beehive; parliament

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

An open letter signed by the likes of Sanford, the Warehouse, Z Energy, and Ernst & Young will be delivered to Parliament at midday today.

The letter has 60 signatories, reflecting a wide cross-section of New Zealand interests, including finance, transport, retail, fishing, tourism, hospitality, wine, conservation, science, beauty, medicine, health and religion.

The letter said businesses and people were already taking action to move to a low-carbon economy and the government needed to follow suit.

It stated that without the government pulling its weight, New Zealand would not be able to make the necessary changes at the pace and scale required.

"We are calling on 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."

The letter was to be presented to Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett in Marrakech last week, who was there for the latest round of UN climate change talks following last year's historic Paris Agreement.

It was put off because of the earthquakes and will be presented today by WWF's campaigner Alex Smith, Steve Logan from Wellington restaurant Logan Brown and Green Cabs general manager Toni Hogg.

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