MEDIA RELEASE: Taranaki joins climate rebellion

07/10/2019

Members of community groups Extinction Rebellion Taranaki, Climate Justice Taranaki and Taranaki youth representatives are in Wellington to support the blockade of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), NZ’s ministry for oil, gas and minerals.“We are in Wellington with people from across Aotearoa with whom we share a concern about the current climate emergency. We are outside MBIE to demand an immediate halt to further oil and gas exploration permits being handed out to companies” says Tony Hansen from Extinction Rebellion Taranaki.

“We want a future where all life thrives yet MBIE is encouraging the burning of fossil fuels that are pushing us towards mass extinction.”

“We need radical and systematic change with a just transition that puts the interests of communities, workers and the environment at its centre. Companies like OMV, Todd, Tamarind, Fonterra, Ravensdown and Fletchers have done enough damage” says Emily Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We need to see that the capitalist economic system created this climate crisis because profit only comes from exploiting workers and the environment. It’s time for system change.”

“Last week, Taranaki youth participated in the third global climate strike. Now we are in Wellington to support the call for urgent climate action. We’ve had enough empty promises” says Taranaki student Ethan Griffiths.

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Time to shut Ravensdown?

24/09/2019

Climate Justice Taranaki padlocked the gate today at the fertiliser factory Ravensdown, blocking trucks, in light of the company’s connections to many environmental and social issues, climate change being number one.

“We have been warned by the world’s leading scientists that we only have ten years before we hit the tipping point on our planet’s climate crisis, so the next year or two is the time to really push for a societal shift away from climate polluting industries.”

“We locked the gate here at Ravensdown today to highlight the fact that this company as it is, should be shut down.”

“Ravensdown fertiliser is derived from gas, a fossil fuel, and ‘Blood phosphates’ taken from Western Sahara under military occupation. When used the fertiliser emits nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 400 times worse than carbon dioxide.”

“For decades Ravensdown’s fertilisers have propped up industrial agriculture in this country, which contributes half of all our emissions, mostly as methane which while short-lived is over 80 times worse than carbon dioxide. Together fertiliser and industrial farming are also causing massive damage to our soils and waterways, killing off native fish and kaimoana.”

“On the social front, Western Saharan communities bear the brunt of Morocco’s military invasion to steal the phosphates that are now only sold to Ballance and Ravensdown in New Zealand, since all other countries have banned it.”

“There are also reports from ex-employees about the terrible working conditions in the New Plymouth factory where safety clothing has to be discarded due to severe heat since the company refuses to use proper ventilation.”

“The working conditions on industrial NZ farms, propped up by these fertilisers, is well known with long hours and poor pay in an unsustainable industry wracked with billions of dollars of debt to send 96% of its commodity products overseas.”

“So this is a warning to Ravensdown, Ballance and the industrial farming sector that the spotlight is on them now. The world is calling for urgent change towards sustainable and regenerative farming which can convert productive pastures to a net carbon sink. If these companies don’t change, they should expect to lose their social licence and investors just like their buddies in the oil and gas sector. We need an urgent just transition that works for everyone and an end to CEOs lining their pockets with the collective wealth of our environment, workers and communities.”

“The Prime Minister just said at the UN Climate Summit that we are determined to be ‘the most sustainable food producers in the world’. To make this happen the government should pay a much stronger role in regulating the unsustainable agri-chemical industry,” said Climate Justice Taranaki member Emily Bailey.

“Unlike carbon dioxide, the short lifespan of methane emissions means cutting them back now could give us a real chance to stop this climate crisis. We urge farmers to shift to more organic and regenerative farming for local markets and encourage everyone to get to the student-led Climate Strike this Friday at 11am in Huatoki Plaza,” concluded Bailey.

DATE: 24th September 2019


Taranaki Climate Action Week, 20-27 September

18/09/2019

In response to increasing effects of climate change across the world from wildfires, cyclones and dried up glaciers, and the call to action from students and communities across the globe, Climate Justice Taranaki has compiled a week of climate action here in Taranaki from September 20-27.

There are events to plant trees, picket oil companies and fertiliser companies, a car-free day supported with free buses and a local body candidate forum hosted by unions and more.

Friday 20, Car Free Day – Free Buses!

Get used to leaving the car at home to reduce our emissions and support public transport. Walk, bike, skate, scoot or catch the bus for free (includes Citylink services, the Connector from Te Hāwera to New Plymouth, and Southlink services, excluding school buses). Supported by councils.

Saturday 21, The Great Conservation Treasure Hunt!

Climate change is creating lots of problems for our wildlife. Join the hunt and check out some cool places and meet Taranaki community groups working to protect our environment. Free team event with prizes to be won. Hosted by NPDC. Book online. Meet Puke Ariki Foyer 10am, finish 1pm.

Sunday 22, Rapid Reforestation Urenui Gully Project ‘1st Planting Day’

Meet North Rd, Urenui 10am-1pm. RSVP via www.eventfinda.co.nz or facebook event page.

Monday 23, Taranaki Local Body Candidate Forum

Industry workers’ union ‘E tū’ is hosting a free, public forum for Taranaki local body candidates to introduce themselves and their policies and answer some questions from our community on topics like the climate, The Living Wage Campaign, Just Transition and Taranaki 2050, Local Government procurement practices, The Future of Work and funding for our public services. Venue: New Plymouth Council Chambers 5-7:30pm, light snacks provided.

Tuesday 24, Fertile Future not Fertiliser Farming

Join Climate Justice Taranaki for a picket outside fertiliser company Ravensdown. Farming is responsible for half of NZ’s emissions. Fossil fuel based fertilisers are a major driver of industrial agriculture, also damaging soils and waterways. We need to shift to regenerative agriculture that builds fertile, carbon-rich soils naturally while reducing emissions. Meet factory entrance Devon Rd, Waiwhakaiho, NP. Time to be confirmed on FB event.

Wednesday 25, Picket the Petroleum Polluters

Join Climate Justice Taranaki for a lunchtime picket outside Taranaki’s current largest petroleum extractor OMV. Meet 12 noon at 54 Gill St, NP, to urge them to stop drilling in Taranaki and start transitioning to renewable energy now. Bring placards, banners, chalk and noise-makers.

Friday 27, Strike 4 Climate!

School Strike 4 Climate NZ are holding a third strike to demand the government and councils take urgent and meaningful action for the climate and our collective future. Organisers are calling on everybody to join them and stand in solidarity for urgent action on the climate crisis. Meet 11am in Huatoki Plaza, New Plymouth to hīkoi through town then return for kōrero, kai and entertainment. Bring placards, banners, chalk and noise-makers.

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October 20, Climate Change What Can I do? / Activating a Just Transition

Climate Change & Consciousness Taranaki invite the community to a free workshop event Beyond my Back Fence: Climate Change What Can I do? at Puke Ariki Library 2-4:30pm, opening with brief kōrero from local activists. Followed by Activating a Just Transition public workshops on effective strategising and communication, hosted by Climate Justice Taranaki with support from E Tū! Snacks and light supper provided. 4:30-7:30pm, venue TBC.


Free Buses in Taranaki – Celebrate Car Free Day

16/09/2019

Celebrate Car Free Day in Taranaki by walking, biking or catching a free bus.

All Citylink services in new Plymouth (excluding school services) and the Connector from Te Hāwera to New Plymouth will be free on Friday 20 September. The once and twice-a-week Southlink services in South Taranaki will also be free during that week.
Take action for the climate and leave the car at home.

You can find timetables and information about the routes here: www.taranakibus.info – Public transport in Taranaki is organised by the Taranaki Regional Council.

We all know that we need to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Obviously industrial agriculture is a biggie. But reducing carbon emissions from transport is vital too. Switching to public transport is a community solution.
Unfortunately, the bus services in Taranaki are still inadequate. While passengers numbers rose from 350,000 in 2008/2009 to over 600,000 in 2016/2017, we still need more frequent buses, buses in the evenings and weekends and better services for rural communities.

Together we need to demand better public transport options for Taranaki. How about following the Belgian city of Dunkirk (a city not much bigger than New Plymouth) which introduced FREE public transport with a bus every 10 minutes a year ago – and it’s a terrific success story. In Taranaki, it would only cost $1.2 million to make the current buses free. So the cost of the Yarrow Stadium upgrade could make the buses free for 40 years. Or the unnecessary Mt Messenger ‘bypass’ equals 160 years of free buses!

Let’s take climate action in Taranaki and celebrate car free day.


MEDIA RELEASE: Climate group bids to end all new Taranaki drilling

28/08/2019

Today, community group Climate Justice Taranaki made a formal bid on the 2,188 km² of onshore Taranaki land made available for oil and gas drilling by the government through the block offer 2018.

“On behalf of our group, future generations and the 2400 people who signed our petition, Climate Justice Taranaki is not bidding in the 2018 block offer to destroy the land. We are bidding in defense of the climate” says Urs Signer, a member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“We all know, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is very clear, that we need radical change now to prevent climate chaos. This is an emergency and we have to act accordingly. The last thing we should be doing now is to look for more fossil fuels. We are calling on Jacinda Ardern and Megan Woods to do the right thing for future generations and rescind the 2018 Petroleum Block Offer in onshore Taranaki.”

While the government has put an end to future offshore drilling, they have opened up 2,188 km² of Taranaki land to oil companies.

“Handing out permits for more fossil fuel exploration while the planet is melting can only be described as ecocide and crime against humanity. Fossil fuel companies have known of their impacts on climate and ocean chemistry for many decades, and have acted to increase their biosphere-destroying activities.”

“We are reading reports about the collapse of the glaciers in Greenland and the collapse of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The melting of the ice will lead to sea-level rise of several meters. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere keep rising due to increasing emissions despite politicians saying that climate change is a priority. If we are to take climate change seriously – and we owe it to our children – then we need to stop drilling for more oil and gas or digging up more coal now. Handing out permits to oil companies now is like handing out death certificates to our children” concludes Urs Signer.

Our application form: The people of Aotearoa – block-offer-2018-application-form


MEDIA RELEASE: Climate group outraged at new Taranaki drilling

18/07/2019

“While we are in the middle of a climate crisis where each and everyone of us should work towards stopping greenhouse gas emissions, Malaysia-based Tamarind Resources is currently drilling for more fossil fuels just off the Taranaki using a gigantic drill rig. It is simply outrageous” says Urs Signer, member of Climate Justice Taranaki. 

“We fought tooth and nail in front of the Environmental Protection Agency to stop this ecocidal madness. But instead of protecting the ocean and the climate, the rig is here in the pursuit of lining the pockets of shareholders and CEOs with millions, while the rest of us are tasked with hosing down a burning planet.”

“The fact that this rig is here now while we are being hit by storm after storm should be cause for serious concern. Storms are becoming more and more powerful as weather patterns become more chaotic, fueled by the petroleum industry’s never-ending thirst for profits. Who cleans up the mess if there is a spill?”

“After drilling in Taranaki, the rig is supposed to head to Otago in October where it will be met by massive community opposition. The message from across the country and across the world is clear: this is a climate emergency! The last thing we need is companies like Tamarind Resources drilling as if it’s business as usual” concludes Urs Signer. 

DATE: 18th July 2019 – for immediate release


Zero Carbon Bill submission by Tue 16 July

13/07/2019

This is a very important piece of legislation currently being considered in Parliament. Please take time to have your say.  Here are our key points:

  1. We support limiting the global average temperature increase to 1.5o Celsius above pre-industrial levels as the aspirational goal, with setting up an overarching legislative framework for clear and ambitious New Zealand climate policies as the purpose of the Bill.
  2. The Bill should be a stand-alone and over-riding piece of legislation that governs every decision with implications on emissions and climate.
  3. The Bill must properly honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  4. The target for New Zealand to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is too far away. It should be 2040.
  5. The targets for biogenic methane emissions by 2030 and 2050 are too weak. They need to be much more ambitious to enable rapid transition to net zero emission agriculture.
  6. Carbon offset needs to be capped, e.g. to 30% of total emissions.
  7. The 2050 target and emissions budgets must be enforceable.
  8. Climate change risk assessments and adaptation need to occur at all levels, with resources provided to regional and local authorities for effective implementation of adaptation plans.

Here’s our full submission.

Submission closed Tue 16 July.  Details on Parliament website.