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Ōtepoti – Climate change is an issue for Aotearoa and for New Zealanders.

The climate is changing faster than at any other time in recent history.

The changes are caused by rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere, which are now at their highest levels in three million years.

Climate change is increasingly having an impact on ecosystems and weather patterns, but it is also taking its toll on people, businesses and ways of life.

In New Zealand, the energy use makes up almost 42 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Those emissions are created when the country burns fossil fuels such as driving a petrol car or diesel truck, travelling by plane, burning gas for manufacturing or burning coal to create electricity.

The opportunity now as the world focuses on COP26 in Glasgow is to reverse the changes by choosing to live with less energy.

Climate change is the most urgent global environmental challenge of our time. We must be bold and accelerate decarbonisation to leave future generations a healthy, stable planet.

Aotearoa has the sixth highest emissions per capita in the OECD. It has had a 44.3 percent increase in energy related emissions since 1980. The increase in transport emissions since 1980 has exploded  by 96.2 percent.

New Zealand has a commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We’ve also committed to reducing emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

While emissions are projected to decrease between now and 2050,  Kiwis need to ramp up the climate response to meet the 2050 target.

Almost 42 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector, including light vehicles, manufacturing and construction, other transport, and electricity generation. The rest of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, waste, and industrial processes.

There has never been a more crucial time for us all to mitigate climate change and shape the lives of future generations.

All New Zealanders must take positive climate actions that reduce energy use and get on the right side of history.