Greta takes fresh swipe at Ardern's response to climate change
Greta Thunberg has taken a fresh swipe at NZ leader Jacinda Ardern for a lack of action over climate change.
Greta Thunberg, the originator of the global School Strike for Climate movement, has taken a fresh swipe at New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for a lack of action over climate change.
In an interview with The Guardian, Ms Thunberg said she can't think of any politician who has impressed her.
When asked about Ms Ardern, Ms Thunberg said New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions haven't fallen.
"It's funny that people believe Jacinda Ardern and people like that are climate leaders. That just tells you how little people know about the climate crisis," she said.
"Obviously the emissions haven't fallen. It goes without saying that these people are not doing anything."
In December, Thunberg took to Twitter alluding to New Zealand's commitment to reduce 1 per cent of emissions by 2025 was "nothing unique to any nation".
New Zealand's emissions grew in 2019 – our pollution went up, but we also changed the way we count them.
The country's greenhouse gas emissions fell 4.5 per cent in the year to the end of March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But emissions resumed a slow upward trend towards the end of the recorded year.
Ms Ardern referred to the Climate Commission report as a "life or death situation" in June.
From 2022 onwards, the Climate Commission wants New Zealand to meet a shrinking "carbon budget", which is essentially the amount of greenhouse gas the country is allowed to "spend" each year.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said Ms Thunberg is correct to say New Zealand's emissions haven't yet decreased.
"That is why the work our Government is doing is so important – and clearly we have a lot of work to do," Mr Shaw told on Sunday.
"This is a marathon effort involving every minister and every part of Government."
Mr Shaw said a detailed plan to bring down emissions would be presented in 2022.
"We will also confirm ahead of the global climate talks in November an enhanced contribution towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement," he said.
That contribution would ensure New Zealand is playing its part to cut global emissions in half by 2030, Mr Shaw said.
Back in December, the Prime Minister responded to Ms Thunberg's initial Twitter comments by saying New Zealand had bigger goals than one target.
"If that was the sum ambition of any government, then that would be worthy of criticism; it is not our sum ambition and it is not the totality of our plans on climate change," Ms Ardern said.
"But again, I think that it is actually for us just to get on with the business of fulfilling our obligations and expectations."
This article first appeared on . It has been republished with permission.