Greens co-leader Marama Davidson slams National MP Maureen Pugh for 'unbelievable' comments on man-made climate change

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson has slammed National MP Maureen Pugh for her comments on man-made climate change. 

Pugh was asked if she believed in climate change caused by human actions. She said she hadn't seen the evidence.

"I have yet to see the response from [Climate Change Minister] James Shaw where one of our local councils wrote to him and asked him for the evidence," Pugh said on Tuesday. 

Newshub asked if she didn't think humans are affecting climate change.

"It is not what I think. It is what I can prove. I am waiting on the evidence from the minister… I have yet to see what the evidence is that they are providing about that."

But she quickly walked back her comments later in the day, saying she regretted them. 

"I regret that my comments this morning were unclear and will have led some to think I am questioning the causes of climate change," she said.

"I accept the scientific consensus that human-induced climate change is real and there is a need to curb greenhouse gas emissions."

Davidson told AM Early on Wednesday Pugh's comments were a slap in the face to everyone battling the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

"Unbelievable actually and an insult to the people who are right now suffering and facing the head-on consequences of climate change, making weather events worse, more severe and more regular," Davidson told AM Early host Nicky Styris.

Davidson said there's no room for climate change deniers in the Beehive, something National Party leader Christopher Luxon agrees with. 

"I would be very strongly saying climate change is real and you only need to look at the events over the last 15 years, 10 years in New Zealand to see that is exactly the case," Luxon said on Tuesday morning.

When asked about managed retreat, Davidson said it's time to have those "hard conversations". 

"This an example of the hard, hard conversations that we're going to have. I can't imagine having to think about leaving your home and your place of belonging," Davidson said. 

"So we have to have that hard conversation because if we leave that, it's going to make things even more difficult for those very people whose homes and lands are under threat from rising sea levels."

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson.
Greens co-leader Marama Davidson. Photo credit: AM

Davidson was asked who should pay for managed retreat and she told AM Early that work is currently happening. 

"I'm personally not interested in supporting billionaires who are snapping up beachfront properties right now," she said. 

"But there will absolutely be people who need our support through no fault of their own, who have found themselves in this situation."

Watch the full interview with Marama Davidson above.