UN Secretary-General warns world "not on track" to meet climate targets

Jacinda Ardern said she welcomed the timing of Guterres' visit

"We need to protect the lives of our people and we need to protect our planet".

Speaking in Auckland alongside New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, Guterres said, "Climate change is running faster than what we are".

Under the Paris Agreement, many countries agreed to a long-term commitment to keep the rise of global temperatures well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in a bid to substantially reduce the effects of climate change.

Guterres visited in the run-up to the climate summit in September in NY, and several South Pacific countries.

Despite clear manifestations of the climate and ecological crises-including record warm temperatures, a million species at risk of extinction, and atmosphere carbon levels at historic highs-global political leadership is not taking action in line with the needed urgency and scope, he said.

A pollution tax was one of the recommendations the Tax Working Group suggested the Government implement in its final report, released in February this year.

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"The United Nations is the forum where we collectively address the global challenges we face, including climate change and worldwide security", she said.

He did praise New Zealand's "extremely important" leadership on climate change - Wellington has introduced legislation to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Mr Guterres said he usually visits a Muslim country during the holy month of Ramadan but this year made a decision to visit Muslims in New Zealand as a tribute to their courage and resilience after the attack.

Ardern this week plans to travel to Paris, where she and French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting seeking to eliminate such acts from being shown online.

He will also visit Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu during his visit, and meet leaders and senior government officials from the Pacific Islands Forum.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilepa Sailele, a leading critic against nations who he believes are ignoring the threats of climate change, told the ABC's Pacific Beat program that he had a message for Mr Guterres. The climate action summit at the United Nations in September is being billed as the last chance to prevent irreversible climate change, three years after the Paris agreement went into force.

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