Kiwi experts weigh in on climate emergency, says 'the science is clear'

A new report into the effects of climate change warns the world faces "untold suffering" if nothing is done.

The study has been backed by nearly 12,000 experts, including many Kiwi scientists.

More wildfires, more floods, more droughts and more people is the reality if nothing changes. 

"It's not, it's not too late - but it's fast becoming too late," says scientist Dr Craig Anderson.

The report, published in the journal BioScience on Wednesday, found:

  • Since 1980, the world's population has almost doubled to just below eight billion.
  • In the same period, extreme weather events have almost tripled to around 800 a year
  • The sea level has risen dramatically in the last twenty years alone.

The report has received support from more than 11,000 scientists, who are declaring that this is unequivocally an emergency.

"You know the science is clear. I think the scientists have done their job to a point, we have to take action," says AUT ecology professor, Sebastian Leuzinger.

The report also outlines what can be done to turn things around:

  • The world must use energy more efficiently and replace fossil fuels.
  • More needs to be done to protect rainforests, particularly those with high carbon stores
  • The world's population must be stabilised and eventually reduced
  • People should eat more plant-based foods and less meat. 

"If we don't jump on this and tackle this now and have some sensible adult conversations about it - I am quite pessimistic," says Anderson.

This week, US President Donald Trump confirmed the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

On Tuesday night, Green MP Chloe Swarbrick targeted the older generation with a slick "okay boomer" while referring to the collective age of Parliament in a speech about climate change.

However, boomers aren't the only ones in the firing line if nothing is done - with everyone set to feel the impact of a changing climate.