On 4 December 2014, Adrien Taylor of TV3 News interviewed me inside the Lima climate talks. What he didn’t tell me was that he was about to cut to the Prime Minister…
For decades scientists have been telling us the world is warming, and now it appears we have reached a new peak.
The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organisation says globally 2014 is 0.57degC higher than the 1961 to 1990 average reference period.
Since the turn of the century we have had 14 of the 15 warmest years ever.
This year has been more than 1degC warmer than 1911 – the coldest year on record.
The warming is having a huge effect on the oceans, which are acting as a heat sink.
“What it is doing frankly is doing us a little favour,” says UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Christiana Figueres. “They are absorbing the heat that could have gone to the land and paying the price.”
Scientists say the main cause of climate change is human greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide.
New Zealand is a small contributor, but its net emissions increased 111 percent from 1990 to 2012.
In response, I directed a few slightly cynical remarks to our Government over on Adopt a Negotiator:
Did I ever tell you about that time I appeared on the national news immediately before the leader of my country? I’d like to say we squared off face to face, debating complex nuances of climate policy, but that’s simply not true. We sailed past each other like ships in the night: I levelled concrete criticism at New Zealand’s weak targets and legal shenanigans, and the Prime Minister talked about all shaking hands.