(Source: Office of the Māori Climate Commission)
Māori Climate Commissioner Donna Awatere Huata says the heatwave that is currently suffocating New Zealand provides a grim view of our possible climate change future.
"The 2016 Ministry for the Environment report on climate change and its impact on New Zealand clearly states that the projections beyond 2040 will see an increase in drought severity, an increase in heatwaves and an increase in severe weather events."
Aotearoa is expected to bake in a record-breaking heatwave this week, fuelled by hot temperatures fuelled from sweltering weather across the ditch.
"What we are experiencing after the hottest year on record is a record breaking heatwave, this is our future and it is happening now. Without immediate leadership from politicians and industry we will not adapt fast enough for the economy or society."
"When we are seeing extreme climate change like this occurring now, being carbon neutral by 2050 is not a solution. It's an abdication of responsibility."
Meanwhile, Huata has come out swinging against the West Coast Regional Council, who have reportedly asked to see "evidence" human pollution is causing climate change before they reduce emissions.
Huata says the "science is clear" and characterises the council's position as ignorant at best.
"The West Coast will face severe rain events that will increasingly wash away infrastructure and flood anything near rivers. That the West Coast Regional Council refuses to reduce emissions until they see evidence is shameful ignorance at best and anti-science book burning superstition at worst," says Huata.
"The good people of the West Coast need leadership, not medieval stupidity."
The role of the Māori Climate Commissioner:
- Provide independent Māori-focused research and advice that will contribute to Aotearoa meeting its obligations under the 2015 Paris Agreement on greenhouse-gas-emissions;
- Promote the Māori world view as a model to help Aotearoa meet its obligations.
- Support education campaigns and activities that will enable Māori to participate in the economic opportunities presented by Aotearoa’s commitment to the Paris Agreement;
- Campaign for policy settings that will help Aotearoa meet its obligations;
- Promote an indigenous world view that works to transform world views harmful to the earth into practices rooted in indigenous tikanga.