December 11, 2018
Public support boosting Aotearoa climate voice
A Māori delegate to the COP 24 United Nations Climate Change Talks in Katowice, Poland says politicians need the support of their people to take the steps needed to address the major problems ahead.
Mike Smith is part of the official New Zealand delegation as country’s try to insert an indigenous perspective into the annual talks, which set the rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
He says the leadership the Ardern Government has shown is noted by other countries, but the drive is coming from below.
"If you build climate awareness from the ground up people understand what’s at stake and we might indemnify political parties from the backlash, providing you take the people with you as you go. Top down development is probably politically risky," Mr Smith says.
He says the stand taken by Māori against oil and gas exploration is a positive part of the New Zealand climate change story.
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