Secretary-General’s remarks at press encounter with James Shaw, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change Auckland 13 May 2019
Today I had the opportunity to meet with New Zealand youth that are really in the front line of climate action. They very clearly recognize that we face a climate emergency and that we need to reverse the present trend which climate change is running faster than what we are.
I mentioned a few minutes ago that here from the Pacific we must send a very clear message to Governments around the world because political will is not yet able to accompany the pace of climate change and the message from the Pacific to Governments around the world is that indeed it is important to move taxes from salaries to carbon, to tax pollution and not people, that subsidies for fossil fuels must end, tax payers money cannot be used to boost hurricanes to expand drought and heatwaves, to bleach corals or to melt glaciers and that we need to stop the construction of coal power plants from 2020 onwards because we need a green economy not a grey economy in the world.
It was very reassuring to see that here in New Zealand there is a strong commitment of the Government in order to reach carbon neutrality in 2050 as the scientific community is asking as a way to guarantee a that at the end of the century we will not have more than 1.5 degrees of warming and at the same time a strong commitment to support the people that might be impacted by climate action.