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The 17-year-old posted on Twitter in response to the country's latest pledge to reduce carbon emission within the public sector.
Thunberg shared a quote from a Newsroom article about the pledge that read: "In other words, the government has just committed to reducing less than 1 percent of the country's emissions by 2025."
She wrote underneath it: "Text explaining New Zealand's so-called climate emergency declaration.
"This is of course nothing unique to any nation."
However, Ardern has defended the policy, saying it does not represent the 'sum ambition' for the country.
According to the Guardian, Ardern said she hadn't seen the tweet from Thunberg but that it had been described to her as a 'reference to our public service carbon neutral goal of 2025'.
She added: "I would, of course, give the context there that, if that was the sum ambition of any government, then that would be worthy of criticism.
"It is not our sum ambition. And it is not the totality of our plans on climate change.
"But again, I think that it's actually for us just to get on with the business of fulfilling our obligations and expectations."
She went on to say it's a 'good thing that there are people out there continuing to urge ambition and action'.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw has also defended the policy - he told The New Zealand Herald: "Greta Thunberg is essentially pointing out what we already know: that we have a long way to go to narrow the gap between what our emissions are right now, and what they need to be in the future.
"We are working on this as quickly as we can and the declaration of a climate emergency is actually helping - because now every part of government is clear that action to cut emissions is a priority.
"This is what climate emergency declaration should do. It is not an end in itself, rather it signals our intent to do everything we can to tackle the climate crisis and build a better, safer future for our kids and grandkids."
Ardern announced a climate emergency in New Zealand earlier this month.
While the Prime Minister made the declaration, she revealed her Administration was committed to creating a carbon-neutral government by 2025.
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