Earlier this week, one hundred and fifty academics and experts across various disciplines signed an open letter to the New Zealand government calling for greater and more immediate action on climate change. If we do not act, we face impending catastrophic environmental breakdown.

An open letter to the NZ Government urging immediate action on climate change

We the undersigned, representing diverse academic disciplines, call on the government to take robust and emergency action in response to the deepening ecological crisis. The science is clear, the facts are indisputable, and it is unacceptable to us that future generations in Aotearoa and globally should have to bear the terrifying consequences of climate breakdown.

Infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is not viable. And yet successive governments have promoted free-market principles which demand rampant consumerism and endless economic growth, thus allowing greenhouse gas emissions to rise. If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is disastrous.

The recent special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is unequivocal. The world’s leading climate scientists warn that we have only 12 years to halve global emissions and get on track to avoid warming of more than 1.5C and catastrophic environmental breakdown. They have advocated urgent and unprecedented global action. As Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC working group says: “this is the moment and we must act now”. The message could not be clearer.

New Zealand has a history of taking courageous political initiatives which have had global influence. We can, and must, do it again with bold and urgent action on climate. New Zealand could lead the world by immediately developing a data-informed plan for rapid decarbonisation of the economy. We demand that the government meets its duty to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come.

The views expressed here are those of the signatories and not their organisations.

Dr Julie Rowland, Assoc. Professor School of Environment, University of Auckland

Professor Clark Thomborson, Computer Science, University of Auckland

Dr Virginia Braun, Professor, School of Psychology, University of Auckland

Dr Rachel Fewster, Associate Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Auckland

Dr Anna Santure, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Science, University of Auckland

Dr Elizabeth Peterson, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Auckland

Dr Mark Harvey, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, University of Auckland

Dr Wei Yuen Loo, Senior Lecturer, Civil Engineering, Unitec Institute of Technology

Cordelia Lockett, Senior Lecturer, Bridging Education, Unitec.

Dr Deborah Hager, Senior Tutor, School of Population Health, University of Auckland

Lawrence J Carter, Senior Lecturer (ret), Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Auckland.

Dr Terry Fleming, Senior Lecturer, School of Health, Victoria University

Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Senior Lecturer, School of Health, Victoria University

Dr Terryann Clark, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing, University of Auckland

Dr Dushko Bogunovich, Assoc. Adjunct Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland

Professor James Renwick, School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington

Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark, FRSNZ, Botany Dept., Univ of Otago.

Matthew Larcombe, Lecturer, Botany Dept., Univ of Otago.

Katja Schweikert, Teaching Fellow, Ecology, Univ of Otago.

Sandy Garner, Professional Practice Fellow, Comp.Science, Univ of Otago

Alexandra Gavryushkina, Postdoctoral fellow, Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ of Otago

Charles Pigden, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Otago

Kiel Hards, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, Univ of Otago

Mani Ekambaram, Senior Lecturer, Department of Oral Sciences, University of Otago

Erwin Lamping, Senior Research Fellow, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, University of Otago

Richard Jackson, Professor. National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago.

Linn Hoffmann, Senior Lecturer, Botany Dept., Univ of Otago.

Alistair Knott, Associate Professor, Dept of Computer Science, University of Otago.

Gregory Dawes, Professor of Philosophy, University of Otago.

John Reynolds, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Otago.

Ralph Adler, Professor of Accountancy, University of Otago

Kath Dickinson, Professor of Plant Ecology, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Clinton Golding, Associate Professor, HEDC University of Otago

Robert McLachlan FRSNZ, Distinguished Professor of Applied Mathematics, Massey University

Steve Kerr, Assoc. Prof., Neuropharmacology, Dept. Pharmacology & Toxicology, Univ. Otago

Shannon McNatty, Professional Practice Fellow, School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences

Lisa Ellis, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Politics, University of Otago

Catherine Hartung, Lecturer in Education Studies, University of Otago College of Education

Cliff Law, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago

Anita Wreford, Associate Professor, AERU, Lincoln University

Ruth Napper, Senior Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, University of Otago

Julian O’Hagan, Professional Practice Fellow, School of Physiotherapy clinics, Otago University

Michel Herde, PhD, Laboratory Co-ordinator, Centre for Neuroendocrinology, University of Otago

Jim Cotter, Professor of Exercise and Environmental Physiology, University of Otago

Nigel Perry, Research Professor, Chemistry, University of Otago

Chris Button, Sport and Exercise Science, University of Otago

Mike Boyes, Associate Professor of Outdoor Education, School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Otago

Paul Dalziel, Deputy Director, Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University

Catherine Bagnall, Senior Lecturer, School of Design, Massey University.

Dr Greg Gilbert, Educational Developer, Massey University

Ann Shelton, Associate Professor Photography, Massey University

Dr Martin Patrick, Senior Lecturer, Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University

Dr Andreas Wesener, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, School of Landscape Architecture, Lincoln University

Dr Julia Wilson, Research Fellow, University of Otago

Simone Gabriel, Lecturer, College of Creative Arts (CoCA), School of Music and Creative Media Production, Massey University

Prof Sandhya Samarasinghe, Complex Systems, Big Data and Informatics Initiative, Lincoln University

Dr Catherine Elliot, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design; Department of Tourism, Sport and Society; Lincoln University

Georgiana Morison, Educator, Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Toi Rauwharangi, Massey University.

Sue Jarvis, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University

David Simmons, Professor of Tourism, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University

Dr Roy Montgomery, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University

Professor G David Baxter, Centre for Health, Activity, and Rehabilitation Research, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago

Dr Lin Roberts, Senior Lecturer in Sustainability and Environmental Management, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University

Dr Silvia Nissen, Lecturer in Environmental Policy, Faculty of Environment, Society and Design, Lincoln University

Tui Matelau, Senior Lecturer, Bridging Education, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Klaus Bosselmann, Professor of Law, New Zealand Centre of Environmental Law, University of Auckland

Dr Iain White, Professor of Environmental Planning, University of Waikato.

Professor David V Williams FRSNZ, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland

Tim Hazledine, Professor of Economics, University of Auckland

Professor Jane Kelsey, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland

Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond, FNAS, FRSNZ, FBA, FAHNZ, DBE, CBE, Department of Māori Studies, University of Auckland

Sue Crossan, Senior Lecturer, Community Development, Unitec Institute of Technology

Margaret Mutu, Professor of Māori Studies, University of Auckland

Karen Hicks, Senior Lecturer, Health Promotion, Unitec Institute of Technology

Robyn Gandell, Academic Advisor, Unitec Institute of Technology

Magdalena Garbarczyk, Lecturer, Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Renata Jadresin Milic, Senior Lecturer, Unitec Institute of Technology

Kerry Francis, Registered Architect, Lecturer, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Hamish Foote, Senior Lecturer, Unitec Institute of Technology

Gayle Souter-Brown, PhD candidate, Unitec Institute of Technology

Marcus Williams, Associate Professor, Unitec

Krystina Kaza, Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Kara Rosemeier, Passive House Academy New Zealand

Dr David Hall, Senior Researcher, The Policy Observatory, AUT

Professor Len Gillman, Head of School of Science and Associate Dean, International for the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT.

Joe Chang, Clinical Lecturer, Department of Biomedicine and Medical Diagnostic, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT.

Sarah Scott, Tutor, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT.

Graham Hinchliffe, Senior Research Officer, School of Science, AUT.

Dr Rebecca Jarvis, Research Fellow, Institute for Applied Ecology NZ, School of Science, AUT

Dr Chris Pook, Senior Research Technician, School of Science, AUT

Pauline Bishop, Lecturer, BTECE, Community Development, Te whare wananga o Wairaka Unitec Institute of Technology

Judi Simpson, Senior Lecturer, Unitec Institute of Technology.

Hector Zinck, Lecturer Unitec Institute of Technology

Iman Ardekani, Associate Professor, Computer Science, Unitec Institute of Technology

Cesar Lador, Lecturer, Civil Engineering, Unitec Institute of Technology

Jayne Mercier, Senior Lecturer, Community Development, Unitec Institute of Technology

Associate Prof. Hannah Buckley, Auckland University of Technology

Indra Dhanaraj, Lecturer, Language Studies, Unitec Institute of Technology

Anne Kayes, Lecturer, Bridging Education, Unitec Institute of Technology

Louise Heaps, Lecturer, Building Construction & Services, Unitec Institute of Technology

Terry Church, Lecturer, Building Construction & Services, Unitec Institute of Technology

Arihia Waenga, Kaiako, Bridging Education, Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka

Susan McLaren, Lecturer, Language Studies, Unitec Institute of Technology

Caroline Malthus, Senior Lecturer, Student Learning and Achievement, Unitec Institute of Technology

John Stansfield, Senior lecturer in Community Development, Unitec.

Jessamine Fraser, Design Tutor, School of Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Kat Bolstad, Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Donnabella Lacap-Bugler, Senior Lecturer, School of Science, Auckland University of Technology

Maja Zidov, Sustainability Manager, Unitec Institute of Technology

Jenni Percy, Senior Lecturer in Language Studies, Unitec Institute of Technology

Nikki Sullivan, Academic Advisor, Unitec Institute of Technology

Dr Colleen Higgins, Senior Lecturer, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Mike Joy, Senior Researcher, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University Wellington

Prof Martin Manning, Climate Change Research Institute, Victoria University of Wellington

Courtney Steele, Assistant Research Fellow, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Gay Keating, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Margaret Stanley, Assoc. Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

Dr Jo Peace, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

Lorne Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Environmental & Animal Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology

Allan McEvoy, Lecturer, Social Practice, Unitec Institute of Technology

Robyn Reid, Lecturer, Early Childhood Education, Unitec Institute of Technology

Jude Ball, Research Fellow, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Professor Richard Edwards, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Julian Crane, Research Professor, Dept Medicine, University of Otago

Dr Janet Hoek, Professor of Public Health & Marketing, University of Otago

Dr Eva Neely, Lecturer, Public Health, School of Health Sciences, Massey University

Dr Kimberley O’Sullivan, Research Fellow, Housing & Health Research Programme, Dept of Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

George Thomson, Assoc. Professor, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Sarah Donovan, Research Fellow, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Sonia Lewycka, Research Fellow, Nursing, Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences, University of Auckland

Professor Susan Krumdieck, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Advanced Energy and Material Systems Lab, University of Canterbury

Dr Carl Petersen, Senior Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury

Dr Laura Revell, Lecturer in environmental physics, School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury

Professor Philip Schluter, School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury – Te Whare Wänanga o Waitaha

John Freeman-Moir, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Educational Studies, University of Canterbury

Jeanette Budgett, Senior Lecturer, Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology

Professor Markus J. Milne, Department of Accounting and Information Systems, University of Canterbury

Emeritus Professor Andrew Sturman, Centre for Atmospheric Research/Department of Geography, University of Canterbury

Dr Ruth Cunningham, Senior Research Fellow & Public Health Physician, Dept Public Health, University of Otago

Dr Stephen Knight-Lenihan, Senior lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland

Kristin Wickens, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, University of Otago

Dr Hera Cook, Department of Public Health, University of Otago

Shelley Cooper, Lecturer, Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology

Taciano L Milfont, PhD, Senior Associate Editor, Environment and Behavior, Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Psychology, School of Psychology, Victoria University

Professor Alan Brent, Chair in Sustainable Energy Systems, Victoria University


See Also:

How do we know the earth is warming?

Frequently asked questions about climate change and the IPCC special report

Climate catastrophe: what is happening to life on Earth?

Climate change: Do we need to start moving people away from coastal areas?

Is climate change the cause of rising world hunger?