Ardern announces in New York an increase in NZ’s Pacific climate commitment

As a keynote speaker in New York at the launch of Climate Week NYC, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced an  increase in New Zealand’s global climate finance commitment “to $300 million over four years”.

When you read through the press release it is clarified as “a significant increase on our existing commitment of $200m in the four years to 2019” – so an increase of $100m over four years, or $25m per year, from an already announced budget.

Beehive: New Zealand increases climate finance commitment to Pacific

The Prime Minister is in New York attending the United Nations Leaders Week and action on climate change is high on her agenda.

The increased investment is being made from New Zealand’s Overseas Development Assistance, which was increased by nearly 30% ($NZ714 million) in Budget 2018 to support the Pacific Reset.

“This funding allocation will focus on practical action that will help Pacific countries adapt to climate change and build resilience. For example, providing support for coastal adaptation in Tokelau to reduce the risks of coastal inundation;  and continuing our efforts to strengthen water security across the Pacific, building on current initiatives such as those in Kiribati where we are working to provide community rainwater harvesting systems and are investing in desalination,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“New Zealand is fully committed to the Paris Agreement and to taking urgent action to support our transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.

“New Zealand is committing to providing at least $300m over four years in climate-related development assistance, with most of this going to the Pacific.

“We have a responsibility of care for the environment in which we live, but the challenge of climate change requires us to look beyond our domestic borders, and in New Zealand’s case towards the Pacific.

“The focus of this financial support is on creating new areas of growth and opportunity for Pacific communities.  We want to support our Pacific neighbours to make the transition to a low carbon economy without hurting their existing economic base.

“Climate change is a priority area for New Zealand’s Pacific Reset announced by Foreign Minister Peters in February. This commitment of $300m over four years is a significant increase on our existing commitment of $200m in the four years to 2019.

“We recognise our neighbours in the Pacific region are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This week I will be making a number of representations alongside our Pacific neighbours to ensure the world is aware of the impact of climate change in our region and the cost of inaction.

“This funding will complement our ongoing support to help developing countries in the Pacific and beyond meet their emissions targets through renewable energy and agriculture initiatives,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Ardern’s speech to the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC:

Kaitiakitanga: Protecting our planet

President Moïse; Secretary Espinosa; Governor Brown

I’d like to begin with a word often used in New Zealand, that you may not – until now – have ever had the opportunity to hear: kaitiakitanga.

It’s Te Reo Māori, a word in the language of indigenous New Zealanders, and in my mind, it captures the sentiment of why we are here.

It means ‘guardianship’. But not just guardianship, but the responsibility of care for the environment in which we live, and the idea that we have a duty of care that eventually hands to the next generation, and the one after.

We all hold this responsibility in our own nations, but the challenge of climate change requires us to look beyond the domestic. Our duty of care is as global as the challenge of climate change.

In the Pacific, we feel that acutely as do countries like Bangladesh where land is literally being lost, and fresh water is being inundated with salt water due to climate change.

There is no doubt that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our generation.

Whether there will be enough food and freshwater.  Whether our towns and cities will be free from inundation from rising seas or extreme rainfalls and devastating storms.  Whether the biodiversity that lends our planet its richness and its resilience will survive.  Whether the growth and economic development that provided an incredible path to lift people out of poverty will be stunted by the widespread, systemic impacts of climate change.

There is no country, no region that does not already feel the impacts of climate change.  For New Zealand’s neighbours in the Pacific, who are already losing their soil and freshwater resources to salt from the ocean, these are not hypothetical questions.  They are immediate questions of survival.

Although New Zealand accounts for a tiny percentage of global emissions – only 0.16 percent – we recognise the importance of doing our part.

But more importantly we recognise that global challenges require everyone’s attention and action. And we all have responsibility to care for the earth in the face of climate change.

This is not the time to apportion responsibility, this is the time to work across borders and to do everything we can by working together.

We are working internationally and want to do more to share research and ideas, build opportunities together with other nations.

New Zealand is fully committed to the Paris Agreement and we are taking urgent action to transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy.  Our focus is on doing this in a way that creates new areas of growth and opportunity for our communities.

At home, my Minister for Climate Change is this week preparing a Zero Carbon Bill to legislate an ambitious goal that would be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement’s objective for the world to become carbon neutral in the second half of this century. We have already put in place some of the measures to get us there.

We are reviewing New Zealand’s emission trading scheme, to ensure it helps us deliver a net zero-emissions future.

We have a target of planting 1 billion trees over the next decade.

And we are no longer issuing permits for offshore oil and gas exploration.

It has been encouraging to see the groundswell of support for ambitious climate action in New Zealand.  60 CEOs representing half of all New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions have committed to action. Our largest dairy company and major agricultural producers have declared themselves up for the challenge.

Local governments have long-term plans not only to adapt to climate change but to drive deep emissions reductions.  Communities and families are taking up the cause.  New Zealanders understand that it is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

The conversation has shifted dramatically. It was only 10 years ago that I was asked about climate change in a town hall election meeting. When I spoke passionately about our need to respond to this challenge, I was met with a boo that moved across the entire audience.

Now, the debate is no longer whether climate change is a threat, but how we can use our policies, actions and international linkages to drive the move to a low-emissions and inclusive society.  We know that the scale of this transformation is huge, and we are determined to leave no-one behind.  It will be a ‘just transition’ that works with people who might be affected, and turns this challenge into an opportunity.

In New Zealand’s home region of the Pacific we will work with others to support stronger and more resilient infrastructure, strengthened disaster preparedness, and low-carbon economic growth through both our funding commitments and by bringing good ideas to the table.

To support developing countries respond to the impacts of climate change, New Zealand will spend at least $300 million in climate-related development assistance over the next 4 years, with the majority of this to be spent in the Pacific.

We recognise that climate change poses a security threat to vulnerable nations, including our Pacific neighbours.

We understand that climate change brings new challenges to international legal frameworks.

As climate change causes sea-levels to rise, coastal states face the risk of shrinking maritime zones as their baselines move inward.

New Zealand firmly believes that coastal states’ baselines and maritime boundaries should not have to change because of human-induced sea level rise.

We are beginning work on a strategy to achieve the objective of preserving the current balance of rights and obligations under UNCLOS. Our goal is to find a way, as quickly as possible, to provide certainty to vulnerable coastal states that they will not lose access to their marine resources and current entitlements. We seek your support as we work to ensure that these states maintain their rights over their maritime zones in the face of sea-level rise.

You are all here today because you understand the need for global action to solve this global problem.  My government is committed to leadership both at home and abroad.

On the international stage we are pushing for the reform of fossil fuel subsidies; the $460 billion spent each year that works against climate ambition and could be better spent on building resilient societies.

We are leading research and collaboration on climate change and agriculture, including with many of you here today in the Global Research Alliance.  At COP24 we hope to see many of you at a New Zealand-led event on sustainable agriculture and climate change.  We’re aiming to encourage action to capture the ‘triple win’ – increasing agricultural productivity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthening resilience to climate change impacts.

We are undertaking research in Antarctica to better understand the crucial role it plays in global systems, and the far reaching effects environmental change in Antarctica will have.

We, with the Marshall Islands, Sweden and France are building a Towards Carbon Neutrality Coalition. The 16 countries and 32 cities in the Coalition are developing long-term strategies for deep cuts of emissions in line with the long-term temperature limit goals we all agreed to in the Paris Agreement.

This week President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands and I are hosting the first high-level meeting of the Coalition.  We’re going to launch the Coalition’s new Plan of Action and announce new members.

We are proud to join many of you in ambitious initiatives like the High Ambition Coalition, Powering Past Coal and the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group.

And in the UNFCCC we are strong supporters of the Global Climate Action Agenda, with a special focus on agriculture.

Underpinning all of this action is the Paris Agreement and the critical decisions that will be made in Katowice this December. The rules that are agreed must be robust and credible, so that the Paris Agreement is effective and enduring.  The world can only reach the Paris goals if we have clarity and confidence about each other’s commitments and action.

As I have said to my fellow New Zealanders, I refuse to accept that the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.  So, I join you today necessarily hopeful.  Hopeful that, if we genuinely commit to finding solutions together, no issue is truly unsolvable.

And hopeful that we, the 193 members states of the United Nations, can work towards solutions that deliver for our people.  Peace.  Dignity.  A good quality of life.  A resilient and sustainable future, and fulfilling the responsibility that is kaitiakitanga.

Leave a comment


  1. robertguyton

     /  25th September 2018

    Leaders, not followers. At last, a chance to be proud.

  2. Corky

     /  25th September 2018

    At this point I start to actively dislike our PM. Especially after she big noted about stopping oil and gas exploration. However, that isn’t all bad. In years to come as NZ misses out of billions and the country starts tanking, every new politician will be wary of ”doing a Jacinda.’

    Any big noting PM who has fallen for this CC scam deserves odium from all Righties and rational thinking people.

    Oh, and Jacinda..

    ”I’d like to begin with a word often used in New Zealand, that you may not – until now – have ever had the opportunity to hear: kaitiakitanga.”

    They don’t give a stuff. Most are either thinking of their own big noting speeches, or those lovely morsels of finger food they will relish while the supposed people they are meant to help starve.

    • Griff.

       /  25th September 2018

      Any big noting PM who has fallen for this CC scam deserves odium from all Righties and rational thinking people.

      Yess she has fallen for the scam called climate science.
      Along with every national scientific body .
      The governments of 192 country’s thats signed up to Paris agreement
      The world bank The world meteorological society The re insurance industry etc, etc, etc .
      Hence the only reply you deserve.

      • Corky

         /  25th September 2018


        • Griff.

           /  25th September 2018


        • Corky

           /  25th September 2018

          Yep, the science is settled according to Play School Griff…except it isn’t.

          Of course this list wouldn’t cover those scientist who say nothing for fear of losing their jobs or tenure.

          • Griff.

             /  25th September 2018

            That is it.
            You countered with a few cranks .
            I can give a list with more national science body’s than on your list of codgers shrills and wackos.
            lick lick.

            • Corky

               /  25th September 2018

              Well, while I accept most scientists would support the science of climate change, it’s bs to suggest it’s 90 plus percent. More like 60/40 in my opinion.

              ”You countered with a few cranks .”

              That is where you show no respect should be shown to you. Puerile and pathetic. Just a troll.

              Here’s one crank you dissed:

              Alfred P. Sloan: emeritus professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy of Sciences

            • Griff.

               /  25th September 2018

              You missed his name
              Richard Lindzen
              His iris theory was proven wrong by actual measurements a long time ago.
              A seventy eight year old retired has been who can not except he was wrong .

            • Corky

               /  25th September 2018

              You really don’t know your science do you. Being proven wrong is part of science. Remeber Stephen Hawking. He got many things wrong, but he still advanced science. Even if he didn’t he still demands respect.

              And if this Richard Lindzen was wrong before, you are imputing he will be wrong again. Not very scientific.

            • robertguyton

               /  25th September 2018

              Love this: ” …he still advanced science. Even if he didn’t he still..”

          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  25th September 2018

            His iris theory was proven wrong by actual measurements a long time ago.

            Oh dear, did someone forget to tell these Korean/NASA-affiliated scientists that the Iris hypothesis was wrong.

            Revisiting the iris effect of tropical cirrus clouds with TRMM and A‐Train satellite data

            Yong‐Sang Choi WonMoo Kim Sang‐Wook Yeh Hirohiko Masunaga Min‐Jae Kwon Hyun‐Su Jo Lei Huang
            First published: 31 May 2017

            and what were these chaps thinking publishing a paper on the Iris Hypothesis in Nature Geoscience

            Missing iris effect as a possible cause of muted hydrological change and high climate sensitivity in models
            Thorsten Mauritsen & Bjorn Stevens
            Nature Geoscience volume 8, pages 346–351 (2015)

            • Corky

               /  25th September 2018

              ”And what were these chaps thinking publishing a paper on the Iris Hypothesis in Nature Geoscience.”


              What indeed, Maggy.

            • Griff.

               /  25th September 2018

              Do tell us where you got that from .

              I dont see what your point is .
              Neither of those papers reignites the iris hypothesis as proposed by Lindzen. Lindzen proposed that the iris effect would negate almost all CO2 induced warming. Shifting The upper bounds of GCM’s ECS down is hardly news considering the general consensus is ECS is closer to 3K than 4.5K anyway.

              By the way Dr Maggy Wassilieff Phd (botany) I really enjoyed some of your comments over at KB on the climate crank posts or
              Made me feel proud of the public service I provide .
              For future reference.
              A paper that gets 3 cites in four years one of which is an obituary, one a comment that gives its errors and the third a paper that gets a more mainstream result is hardly a seminal paper on a topic.

            • Maggy Wassilieff

               /  25th September 2018

              I dont see what your point is .

              The Iris hypothesis has not been consigned to the level of a disproven hypothesis.

            • Griff.

               /  25th September 2018

              Lindzen’s iris hypothesis’s is as dead as a dodo Maggy.
              Clouds will not save us from the effects of CO2 as Lindzen proposed and has continued to cling to .

  3. PartisanZ

     /  25th September 2018

    Jacinda’s speech is yet another sign of rapid movement towards incorporating tikanga into our Constitutionality … The momentum is building … as it must …

    Righties note the word “incorporating” …. which is not dominating or dictating …

    Long way to go yet … One day the Tumuaki Tuatahi or Tuatahi rangatira o te kāwanatanga of Aotearoa New Zealand might deliver such a korero entirely in te reo Maori … ?

    That’s why the U.N. has an army of translators …

  4. Zedd

     /  25th September 2018

    Good onya Jacinda.. take the lead ! 🙂 🙂

  5. sorethumb

     /  25th September 2018

    heck out Kiribati population growth 1950 into the future

  6. wooden goat

     /  25th September 2018

    Meanwhile – surprise surprise – the MSM ignores the fact that Arctic sea ice cover is as healthy as ever –

    Remember the panic that “the Arctic would be ice-free by 2012”?
    So much for *that*…….

  1. Ardern announces in New York an increase in NZ’s Pacific climate commitment — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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