New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reacted to the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s latest accusation towards the country. The celebrated leader lashed out at the Thunberg claiming her government has been doing more than Thunberg might realise. Ardern was referring to Thunberg’s tweet from the weekend in which she shared a news article of a local website and quoted the article that claimed.
Thunberg took to Twitter on December 13 to say that New Zealand’s “so-called climate emergency declaration” earlier in the month, committing the country to become carbon neutral by 2025, was “of course nothing unique to any nation”.
"In other words, the Government has just committed to reducing less than 1 percent of the country's emissions by 2025".
Text explaining New Zealand's so-called climate emergency declaration. This is of course nothing unique to any nation. #FightFor1Point5https://t.co/Yp8nuek9Pn
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 13, 2020
Ardern on Monday told reporters she welcomed Thunberg’s contribution to the debate on climate but said the emergency declaration covered only a portion of New Zealand’s climate change goals. Ardern said she has not seen the tweet yet, she has been informed it was a “reference to our public service carbon neutral goal of 2025”. “I would, of course, give the context there that, if that was the sum ambition of any government, then that would be worthy of criticism,” Ardern said. “It is not our sum ambition. And it is not the totality of our plans on climate change,” she said. “But again, I think that it’s actually for us just to get on with the business of fulfilling our obligations and expectations.” The statement has come a week after Ardern declared a climate emergency and had declared that her government will only be buying electric or hybrid cars from now onwards. She also explained that the government will be reducing by over 20 per cent soon. It has also been decided to slowly start phasing out the 200 coal-fired boilers.
Furthermore, praising activists like Greta Thunberg, Ardern said, “But equally I think it’s only a good thing (that) there are people out there continuing to urge ambition in action.” In October this year, Ardern won a second term in the office. Her leadership skills, especially during the pandemic, have earned her worldwide praise. She was even named as one of the World’s Top 50 Thinkers of COVID-19 Age by UK-based Prospect Magazine. Ardern took the second spot in the list that was led by Kerala’s Health Minister KK Shailaja.