December 02, 2020
Pressure on to meet climate targets
The chair of the Iwi Leaders Climate Change Group, Mike Smith, says Māori need to support the Government’s declaration of a climate emergency.
As well as the declaration, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday committed the public sector to being carbon neutral by 2025, including by phasing out coal boilers and requiring government agencies to purchase electric vehicles and reduce the size of their car fleets.
The Climate Commission, which includes Lisa Tumahai from the Iwi Leaders Group, is expected to release more details by February on how to make the whole economy zero carbon by 2030.
Mr Smith says a lot of work needs to be done at a community level and Māori should not wait on the government to do it all.
“They’ll be scared they’ll lose votes if they go too fast too hard and so there’s every likelihood they’ll slow down their approach so we’ve got to, as a nation, everybody, all of us, Māori, Pākehā, we’ve got to keep saying to the Government ‘we will not punish you if you do the right thing, but we will punish you if you don’t.’ So we’ve got to let them know they’re doing the right thing and to accelerate. Time is not our friend with this issue,” he says.
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