Environmental activist Greta Thunberg has criticised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over what she says is her lack of action on climate change.
In an interview with The Guardian, the 18-year-old from Sweden said she couldn’t think of a single politician who has impressed her with their climate action.
“It’s funny that people believe Jacinda Ardern and people like that are climate leaders. That just tells you how little people know about the climate crisis,” she said.
“Obviously the emissions haven’t fallen. It goes without saying that these people are not doing anything.”
That’s despite Ardern in June calling climate change a “life or death” issue after the Climate Change Commission’s final advice to the Government was released.
That report showed New Zealand was not on track to meet its 2050 emission targets.
Covid-19 lockdown and border restrictions saw New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions fall 4.5 per cent in the year ending March 2021.
However, in April, it was revealed New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions had actually increased by 2 per cent in 2019.
That came months after the Government declaration of a climate emergency in December 2020. At the time, Thunberg criticised the declaration for not doing enough.
Budget 2021 invested billions in rail, electric vehicles, and funding for the agriculture sector to help bring its emissions down.
In July, Climate Change Minister James Shaw released the principles he wants to influence New Zealand's emission reduction plan, to be released later this year, which will set out the level emissions need to be cut.