Ardern makes a plea for Tokelau at UN Climate Summit

New York: The vulnerability of Tokelau to the impacts of climate change was emphasized by New Zealands Prime Minister Hon. Jacinda Ardern in her address at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York today. Reflecting on her recent visit to Tokelau – she told of the receding shorelines, the assaulting seas and a people struggling with the realities of the continuous climate crisis.

Standing before world leaders Ardern spoke in a deliberate and expressive manner highlighting the plight of Pacific islands and New Zealands responsibility to island nations.

“If we are to overcome the threat of climate change then we must start with an honest appraisal of ourselves,” she said and reflected on New Zealands shortcomings on emission levels which include a noted increase of 23 percent increase since 1990.

The Summit brought together governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions in six areas: a global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.

On progress, Ardern highlighted her countries efforts which include the introduction of the Zero Carbon Bill, planting of one billion trees by 2028, making electric vehicles more affordable and blocking permits on offshore oil exploration.

“We have established a NZD$100 million green investment fund and created a NZD$300 million fund supporting climate mitigation and adaptation in the Pacific,” she said.

On a final note, she added: “The situation is stark but New Zealand will play its part in global efforts – to build a better future for Tokelau, for the Pacific and for all of us.”

Arderns statement was made ahead of a one-day high level review of the Small Islands Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway by the General Assembly – to be held on 27th September. The Review will bring address progress made in the priorities of small island developing States (SIDS) through the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway.

jacinda ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during her address at the UN Climate Summit in New Ork on 23rd September 2019. [Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth]
The coverage of the United Nations General Assembly 74th Session and the Mid Term Review of the SAMOA Pathway is made possible by the Islands Voices Journalist Campaign by the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States and support by the Government of Netherlands.

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