She said the declaration was an acknowledgment of the burden the next generation faces.
"This will ensure we are playing our part to cut global emissions in half by 2030, which will be particularly crucial in the run up to the global climate summit in Glasgow next year", James Shaw said. "It is about the country they will inherit". Over the years environmental activists and researchers have been raised concerns regarding future catastrophic events and urged governments to take swift action against climate change.
The declaration comes without any newly assigned statutory powers or money, making it purely symbolic.
On social media, climate action advocates emphasized that Ardern's government must back up the declaration with action that leads to measurable, positive results for the planet.
National's climate change spokesman Stuart Smith has said that a climate change emergency without conferring special powers was "merely signalling".
The proposal introduced by the Labour Party recognized "the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health through flooding, sea level rise, and wildfire".
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made good on an election campaign promise to declare the emergency.
"Today's performance from the government was a triumph of politics over practical solutions, and of slogans over substance", David Seymour, another opposing lawmaker, said.
Critics also say that Ardern's government has not done enough to enhance New Zealand's "clean, green" reputation since she took office in 2017.
The goal of a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 is being seen as challenging - but possible.
New Zealand's opposition party, National Party, rejected the climate emergency declaration, labeling it "virtual signaling".
Speaking in parliament after its introduction, Ardern said the country must "act with urgency".
He failed to get agriculture, one of New Zealand's largest emitters, into the Emissions Trading Scheme, although the sector will enter the scheme by default in 2025 if another system for pricing the cost of emissions is not created.