By Mabel Muller - email@example.com
A climate change policy expert for the Pacific says it's vital Pacific people have their say in New Zealand's Zero Carbon Bill public consultation, so that the harsh realities of people in the islands are heard.
Minister for Climate Change James Shaw launched the consultation last week which will be open for six weeks.
The government is asking for public views, ideas and concerns on its goal of reaching a zero emissions target by 2050.
Photo/ Article Din.
Samoa-based climate change adviser, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, says this is an opportunity for the Pacific community to contribute to a significant piece of legislation.
"Having Pacific Islanders who reside in New Zealand have their input into this bill is very important because they can reflect the hardships that their relatives in the islands are going through," she says.
"It's very important that Pacific Islanders are integrated into this conversation at the national level... They face very unique circumstances when it comes to the impacts of climate change... they're experiencing it first and worst."
Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson. Photo/ PMN.
Lagipoiva is commending the Government on making its first step towards putting the bill together.
"It will make a difference, there is now political action. There are so many countries like Australia constantly saying that they want to do something about climate change but New Zealand is now actually doing it."
"This will make a difference to the Pacific Islands because the actions that New Zealand take on the climate front are actions that can be replicated by the islands," she says.
"It's a sign of goodwill among Pacific leaders that New Zealand is actually walking the talk when it talks about lowering carbon emissions and ensuring that they're meeting their own obligations under the UN Climate Change Convention."
Consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill is open until July 19.