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Former NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joins Conservation International against Climate Change

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is bringing her considerable talents to Conservation International. On Monday, CI announced that Ardern had joined them as the 6th Distinguished Fellow in this prestigious position.

Over the next two years, Ardern will advocate internationally on key environmental issues on a part-time basis. Her focus will be regions like the Pacific and Antarctica that she cares deeply about. "From the start in Parliament, I've pushed for global climate action," said Ardern. "My passion and urgency have only grown seeing impacts firsthand in our region."

Living in New Zealand afforded Ardern a critical perspective. In 2020, her government became one of the first to declare a climate emergency, a symbolically important step. "For future generations, climate change is already real and tangible. It's about the country they will inherit," she noted passionately.

As Prime Minister, Ardern led significant changes like banning new offshore oil/gas exploration to curb emissions. She also outlawed wasteful single-use plastic bags. CI CEO Sanjayan praised her "leadership, empathy, and drive to deliver climate solutions," qualities incredibly needed right now.

At only 37, Ardern inspired the world from 2017-2022 in her role as Prime Minister. Though she recently stepped down to spend more time with family, Ardern's commitment to the environment through distinguished roles at Harvard and CI will undoubtedly create positive change. Her lived experience and visionary approach gives great hope that we can rise to the climate challenge.


(Callan Williamson)


Jacinda Ardern speaks on a megaphone at the University of Auckland
Jacinda Ardern at the University of Auckland - Ulysse Bellier



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