Isaac Davison

Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Greens: Typhoon the result of climate change

A survivor salvages belongings from her damaged home. Photo / AP
A survivor salvages belongings from her damaged home. Photo / AP

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has used a motion of support for the typhoon-ravaged Philippines to argue that climate change is responsible for the massive storm.

Prime Minister John Key proposed this afternoon that the House express its support and solidarity for the Philippines government and population in the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Hiyain, which has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

In his speech, Dr Norman said that the best way to acknowledge the deaths in the region was to read a statement from one of the country's officials, the head of the Philippines climate change delegation at United Nations talks in Poland.

The statement by delegate Yeb Sano, which was made this morning in Warsaw, said: "What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness, the climate crisis is madness.''

Dr Norman said science had shown that warmer global temperatures would generate more intense and more frequent tropical storms.

National MPs cried "shame'' and claimed that the Greens co-leader was making a political speech.

After the interjections, Speaker David Carter told the House that Dr Norman was acting within his rights.

"It would be better if it was delivered without a political message, however the message is in the hands of Dr Russel Norman.''

Mr Sano described the typhoon as a "hellstorm'' and said that it "was so strong that if there was a Category 6 it would have fallen squarely in that category''.

Mr Key said he had called Philippines president Benigno Aquino to express New Zealand's condolences and promise support.

Government has committed $2 million in aid for the region, after earlier committing $150,000 to the Red Cross.

Mr Key told Parliament that the scale of the disaster was staggering and a full picture of the destruction and loss of life was still emerging.

"The images we are seeing out of the affected areas are deeply harrowing and I know that all New Zealanders will be moved by them.''

He expressed sympathy for Filipinos living in New Zealand and said that their anguish brought the disaster closer to New Zealand.

Mr Key planned said he had offered to postpone his trip to Manila later this month while the country responded to the storm, but he had not yet heard a response.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 23 Nov 2014 19:07:14 Processing Time: 492ms