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Published 12 March 2018

Royal Society Te Apārangi supports joint statement on climate change by Commonwealth academies of science

Royal Society Te Apārangi has joined science leaders from around the Commonwealth to call on their heads of government to use the best available evidence to guide action on climate change.

The call is part of a Consensus Statement on Climate Change, launched today by a number of national academies and societies of science from around the Commonwealth, ahead of next month’s Commonwealth summit in the United Kingdom. 

The statement, which is drawn from the consensus views of tens of thousands of scientists, marks the first time Commonwealth academies have come together to urge their Governments to take further action to achieve net-zero greenhouse gases emissions during the second half of the 21st Century. 

President of Royal Society Te Apārangi Professor Richard Bedford said that the greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments agreed to by 160 parties in the 2015 Paris Agreement are only the first step in a long journey.

“Even if all the country commitments from the Paris Agreement are met, the latest data shows that by the end of the century the global climate is likely to be 3°C above pre-industrial levels.

“This is substantially higher than the Paris target to limit warming to less than 2°C, and would have profound impacts affecting billions of people throughout the world,” Professor Bedford said.

“Here in the South Pacific, we are acutely aware of the risks of climate change and sea level rise to our Pacific Island neighbours and we urge all nations to take immediate action on climate change.”

Sustainability is one of the key themes to be discussed by Commonwealth leaders at the 2018 Commonwealth summit, with a particular focus on the resilience of developing and vulnerable countries to climate change.

“Recognising different capacities, challenges and priorities, the approaches of each nation will not be the same. But, they must be informed by the best available scientific evidence, monitoring and evaluation,” Professor Bedford said.

“In recent years we have produced three scientific reports on climate change in New Zealand, focussed on implications, opportunities for mitigation and the impacts on health, and Royal Society Te Apārangi stands ready to assist the New Zealand Government, and indeed broader Commonwealth efforts, by providing sound scientific advice on issues relating to climate change.” 

View the Commonwealth Science Academies Consensus Statement on Climate Change, including the list of signatories by country, and a video on the Consensus Statement and a video of Royal Society Te Apārangi support for the statement.

Follow and share with the hashtag #ClimateAction on social media.

View recent reports and activities on climate change in New Zealand by Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi