Key Principles

Key Principles

1. We must act according to the scientific consensus and credible emerging science on climate change, which increasingly demands urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and sustained action to safely remove excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, in order to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change. 

2. Te ao Māori offers us a framework for a sustainable pathway forward. Our  response to climate change should be founded upon the tikanga (values) and  matauranga (knowledge) of tangata whenua, and must respect and express Te  Tiriti o Waitangi to ensure that the effects of climate change and our response  to it do not disproportionally impact upon the tangata whenua. 

3. We have an obligation to act for the sake of vulnerable people, the wellbeing of current and future generations, the integrity of diverse ecosystems and the  retention of a viable biosphere.  

4. Because of the extensive lag time in climate effects, we must prepare for  climate changes locked in by greenhouse gas emissions to date and act with  greater urgency than current conditions would suggest.  

5. Global agreements are crucial for concerted global action and we should play a constructive role in achieving, upholding, and implementing a fair, effective,  binding and ambitious agreements. 

6. We accept our historic and current contribution to global warming through  greenhouse gas emissions and the common but differentiated responsibility to  reduce emissions it implies, internationally, so that, as a high-emitting nation,  we should move further and faster towards a sustainable level of global  emissions with broadly equal emissions per person, and support less  developed countries to develop sustainably. 

7. Social equity and ecological sustainability must be inherent in the way we  respond to climate change; we must lead and foster a Just Transition1. 8. Climate change is a complex problem. A range of mechanisms at all levels is  needed to successfully respond to it. These include: legislation and regulations, economic instruments (including emission pricing and public investment),  community action, and initiatives by business and other organisations. 9. Management of greenhouse gases should, so far as practicable, recognise that these gases differ in their origin, chemical nature, climate changing effects,  persistence and assimilation by natural systems.  

10. Our response to climate change should ensure community wellbeing and resilience in the short- and long term, supported by thriving local democracies and resilient economies so as to minimise the impacts of climate change and our response to it on low income and other vulnerable sectors of society. 11. Transparency, credibility, education and participation are essential if all stakeholders are to accept and trust the policy framework and change their behaviour as a result.

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