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Challenge to weak climate target

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Medical professionals concerned with the effects of climate change are welcoming a legal challenge to the Government’s modest emission reduction targets.

Dr Rhys Jones from OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council, says Waikato University law student Sarah Thompson, is trying to emulate a case in the Netherlands where the courts ordered the Dutch government toughen up its stance.

New Zealand will tell the climate summit in Paris at the end of the month that by 2030 carbon its emissions should be 11 percent below 1990 levels - which Ms Thompson says is unreasonable and irrational.

Dr Jones says it’s also far less than New Zealanders were willing to support during consultation earlier this year.

He says the science on climate change is now beyond dispute, apart from vested interests who continue to sow doubt.

"The onus is on governments to follow that scientific consensus and lead and say ‘This is what we need to do, we need to dramatically reduce our emissions and we need to do it very urgently," Dr Jones says.

OraTaiao is particularly concerned about the impact of climate change on Maori and Pacific peoples in New Zealand, and on the health of people in Pacific Island nations who look to New Zealand for support.

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