Climate change emergency ‘acknowledges next generation’

HPF applauds the move by the Government this week to declare a climate change emergency.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who made the declaration yesterday (Dec 3) committed the Government and the public sector to going carbon-neutral by 2025.

Ms Ardern said the declaration ‘bases on science” and the country “must act with urgency”.

“This declaration is an acknowledgement of the next generation. An acknowledgement of the burden that they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now,” she said.

This was a declaration grounded in a deep sense of responsibility – a responsibility that people in the Pacific know all too well, said Ardern.

She said the Pacific Island forum has called climate change “our biggest threat”.

Ardern’s comments support the call for urgent action at last year’s 23rd IUHPE World Conference on Health Promotion, co-hosted by HPF in Rotorua.

In the Rotorua Legacy Statement released at the conference, participants called on the global community to urgently act to promote planetary health and sustainable development for all, now and for the sake of future generations”.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Statement for Planetary Health and Sustainable Development called on health promoters and the world to make space for and privilege Indigenous peoples’ voices and Indigenous knowledges in taking action.

Read the statements HERE.

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the motion was well overdue and that ‘tangata whenua have known long that our environment is totally out of balance and for decades have understood the urgency of dealing with climate change”.

“We have an obligation to our rangatahi to unite and to do everything as kaitiaki to protect our taiao and our whanau from the climate crisis in the short time we have left.

“We must restore balance with the natural world and regenerate our whenua, our wai, our moana and our precious indigenous taonga species.”