New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared a “climate emergency”, telling parliament that urgent action was needed for the sake of future generations. Ardern said the science on climate change was clear and New Zealand had to acknowledge the threat. She said the challenges posed by global warming meant parliament’s declaration, an act undertaken by more than a dozen other countries was warranted. “In those cases where we do issue declarations, it is often where there is a threat to life, a threat to property, and civil defence emergencies,” she told parliament. “If we do not respond to climate change, we will continue to have these emergencies on our shores.” New Zealand going green “This is a declaration of science,” Ardern told said, adding the move is “an acknowledgement of the next generation … of the burden they will carry if we do not take action now.” New Zealand’s decarbonization program is supported by a NZ$200 million (€117 million) state fund and includes a phase-out of coal, a requirement for government agencies to use electric vehicles and a green standard for public buildings, according to Radio New Zealand. Declaring a climate emergency, however, comes without any new statutory powers or money, making the move purely symbolic. Thirty-two other countries, including Japan, Canada, France and the United Kingdom, have already declared a climate emergency. Doing so indicates that governments recognize climate change as an existential threat that requires urgent action in response. Climate activists and scientists continue to warn that not enough is being done by governments to meet the Paris Agreement target of cubing emissions to keep global temperature levels withing 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) of pre-industrial levels.