LISTEN: Our government is quadrupling the amount of cash given to poor countries to help support climate change emergency efforts.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced the increase in climate aid contribution on Monday in the lead up to the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow.
The increase announced matches New Zealand’s contribution to global climate funding with COP26 host the United Kingdom on a per person basis.
Minister of Climate Change James Shaw told Lloyd Burr Live that at least half of New Zealand's new $1.3 billion climate finance commitment will go towards supporting New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours.
"Pacific Islands are experiencing more frequent and severe cyclones, they're experiencing sea-level rise which for some of the low-lying atolls face is an existential threat."
Shaw says developing countries are those most uniquely at risk from the climate crisis and it is having an impact on people's livelihoods.
"By way of example we are assisting Fiji to move 43 villages away from the coast and towards higher ground," he told Magic Talk.
Shaw says the impacts of climate change that scientists have been warning us about for decades are not academic or a distance threat.
"They are happening right now," he said.
The government says the investment will enable New Zealand to support a range of climate change emergency initiatives including clean energy projects in developing countries, ensure buildings are able to withstand more damaging storms, crops are resilient to droughts, floods and new pests, and communities are protected from sea-level rise and storm surges.
“New Zealand will do its fair share in the global race to tackle climate change by providing $1.3 billion to assist lower-income countries to protect lives, livelihoods and infrastructure from the impacts of climate change,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Our new contribution far eclipses the pledges New Zealand has made previously."
Listen to the full interview with James Shaw above.
Magic Talk | Lloyd Burr Live, weekdays from 4pm.