Jacinda Ardern: Climate change goes beyond politics

Jacinda Ardern has been interviewed by environmentalist Al Gore about the climate challenges facing the Pacific as part of a 24-hour live broadcast.

She was invited to join high profile names including Ellie Goulding, Helen Hunt and Shawn Mendes for the 24 Hours of Reality campaign, aimed at uniting the globe to find solutions to the climate crisis.

Mr Gore was full of praise for the Prime Minister, and gave her a glowing introduction over the satellite link.

"I gotta say at the outset, I'm really excited to meet you by means of this video hook-up cause I watched your election and I was cheering for you," he told her.

His invitation to participate in the live broadcast came after Ms Ardern's speech at the Apec summit last month, in which she called climate change the "greatest challenge facing this generation".

US President Donald Trump has removed America from the Paris Agreement, but Mr Gore is part of a wide movement to keep climate change on the agenda.

In the live interview, Ms Ardern said climate change is about more than politics and it's already hurting New Zealand.

"We're seeing a decrease in our glaciers, we're seeing increased dryness in our soil. This is an issue that affects our wildlife, it affects our crops, it affects our lives."

Unusually warm conditions in Fiordland were cited as a contributing factor to the recent death of a Kakapo named Blake, the first heat stress death of the species in 20 years.

Other native birds, such as the Yellow-eyed penguin, are also suffering as sea temperatures affect their feeding patterns

Chile President Michelle Bachelet will also be speaking at 24 Hours of Reality about her country's bold policies to ditch fossils fuels and use wind, solar and geothermal energy. 

Ms Ardern has made a big show of climate action on the world stage, and attention will now turn to how she achieves her climate change promises.