Kiwi embarks on 17,000km cycling journey to raise awareness about global warming and rising sea levels.

For most of us, it's a tough ask to draw a link between somewhere as warm as Bangladesh and as chilly as Antarctica.

But that's been the mission of Kiwi scientist Dr Daniel Price, now well through a 17,000km cycling odyssey to get people caring about climate change ahead of his eventual destination - the United Nations climate congress in Paris in December.

Ahead of the conference, the Government has opened consultation on what New Zealand's climate change target should be beyond 2020.

Speaking to the Herald from Indonesia, Dr Price was looking forward to cycling through Bangladesh - a country where millions of people could be displaced if the world experiences a metre of sea level rise by 2100, as is projected by the UN.

Advertisement

Over time, that figure could be compounded if major ice sheets begin to collapse at the frozen continent he studies at Canterbury University's Gateway Antarctica programme.

His Pole to Paris journey officially kicked off during a visit to Scott Base and has so far taken him through Australia and much of Indonesia.

Ahead lie thousands of kilometres of riding through Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, China, Central Asia and Europe.

In Australia, he investigated industry expansion around coal - the fossil fuel which could push the planet towards the internationally agreed threshold of another two degrees of warming - and the impact of climate change on coral.

The response from Australians to his cause was mixed, he said. "Most people see someone that cares about climate change as a green hippie - it makes it quite difficult to communicate the issue."

But the feedback in Indonesia, where he has visited schools and will be joined by other cyclists for the rest of his time there, had been "incredible". There, Dr Price has also teamed up with the UN's Development Programme, helping promote its efforts to improve livelihoods.

A big focus was using renewable energy to pull large parts of the population out of poverty. In Paris, Dr Price will meet friend Erlend Moster Knudsen, who is covering the other part of the Pole to Paris trip by running from Norway to France.