UN leader arrives in New Zealand on climate change trip


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that the political will to fight climate change seems to be fading at the same time as things are getting worse for those feeling the effects.

"Engaging our young people to build inter-generational climate action is paramount to combating climate change", said Mr Shaw.

"I welcome New Zealand's efforts to develop domestic climate change legislation that sets a pathway for a long-term transformation in line with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C". Guterres plans to spend three days in New Zealand as part of a trip to the South Pacific to highlight the problems of climate change.

Countries vowed under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to try to limit a rise in global warming even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Coal-based power is key according to UN-environment's 2018 Emissions Gap Report: all plants now in operation are committing the world to around 190 giga tonnes of CO2, and if all coal power plants now under construction go into operation and run until the end of their technical lifetime, emissions will increase by another 150 giga tonnes, jeopardizing our ability to limit global warming by 2°C as agreed upon in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, previously visited New Zealand as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "This is an example of the greater ambition we need if we are to keep pace in meeting the climate threat".

Guterres said he usually visits a Muslim country during the holy month of Ramadan but this year made a decision to visit Muslims in New Zealand as a tribute to their courage and resilience after the attack.

The Secretary-General recalled that he had encountered that resistance at COP24, the 2018 United Nations climate change conference.

According to local media, Guterres also said he wished to show solidarity during Ramadan with those affected by the deadly Christchurch attacks on March 15.

During a visit to new Zealand's capital, Wellington, he said on Sunday, the political commitment of the States.

He will also visit Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu during his visit, and meet leaders and senior government officials from the Pacific Islands Forum.