Jacinda Ardern: It's my responsibility to lead on climate change

Jacinda Ardern speaks from the stage at APEC.
Jacinda Ardern speaks from the stage at APEC. Photo credit: Newshub.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used her moment on the world stage to ask world leaders to join New Zealand in reducing the impacts of climate change.

Speaking at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Vietnam, Ms Ardern said climate change was "the biggest challenge of our generation" and said she wanted to take politics out of the issue.

"It is my responsibility to take a lead role on climate change," she said. 

"My challenge to you all is to join us on that journey and leave a legacy we can all be proud of," she said.

Ardern on stage at APEC.
Ardern on stage at APEC. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ms Ardern said while there would be trade-off for all, "we owe it to ourselves, our children and future generations" to mitigate the effects of climate change.

She offered a few concrete examples of the new Government's plans, including a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, eliminating fishery subsidies and planting trees on "marginal land". 

Labour's list of 100-day priorities includes just one climate-related goal - a target of zero-carbon net emissions and the establishment of an independent climate commission.

But several other environment-focused goals form part of Labour's confidence-and-supply arrangement with the Greens and its coalition deal with New Zealand First, including a requirement that all new legislation have a climate-impact assessment and the creation of a Government-backed Green Investment Fund.

Ms Ardern said Governments were limited in the impact they could have without bringing society on board.


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