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Ed Sheeran

Maori voice heard at global climate summit
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The chair of the Iwi Leaders Climate Change Group says indigenous peoples are speaking truth to power as the debate over what to do about global warming heats up.

Mike Smith is in Madrid as part of the official New Zealand delegation to COP 25, the annual meeting of environment ministers and officials from around the world which tries to forge a global response to the crisis.

He’s been in talks with people from indigenous groups and small island states, and today he’s opening a forum showcasing initiatives around the Pacific.

He says unlike governments, indigenous nations aren’t hampered by pressure from big polluters and the fossil fuel industry.

"We’ve seen that in New Zealand from the farming sector. We know the farming sector's got to pull their weight. They keep pressuring the Government and they keep getting let off. Indigenous communities are not subject to that same sort of pressure and so we are able to speak a lot more truthfully and a lot more honestly about the types of action that are required. We're not held back by those considerations," Mr Smith says.

New Zealand along with Costa Rica and Spain are being seen as world leaders in the move from fossil fuels, and Maori are a big part of that.

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