WELLINGTON, 02 NOVEMBER 2017 (CNN) — New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, tells CNN that her country must be prepared to take in “climate change refugees” from surrounding island nations.
“We need to acknowledge that we are, unless we make dramatic changes, at the front of seeing refugees as a result of climate change,” Arden told CNN’s in an exclusive interview, her first since taking office last Thursday.
“We see a duty of care there — both to champion internationally the importance of acknowledging and responding to climate change, but also doing our bit.”
The country currently takes in about 750 refugees each year, per United Nations mandates, according to the government.
“We’re looking to ways to build in the responsibility we have on climate change and the way that we approach, potentially, climate change refuges in the future amongst our neighbours,” said the prime minister.
In order to govern, Ardern’s Labour Party entered into coalition with a conservative, anti-immigration New Zealand First Party.
She denied, however, that her government’s policy would be affected in the area of refugees, saying she had worked “very hard” to build consensus, and was committed on doubling the country’s refugee quota…..PACNEWS [/restrict]