“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”
The release by Pope Francis of his recent encyclical Laudato Si – On Care for our Common Home (1) has drawn some controversy with suggestions he clean-up his own house before attempting to save the planet.
In keeping with environmental statements issued from other leading church figures such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Patriarch Bartholemew (2) and the Dalai Lama (3) personal issues on religion and doctrine should be set aside and this document must be viewed as a strong message from an important world figure which sends a challenge to such others in the lead to the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. Read the rest of this entry »
Climate Justice Taranaki (CJT) will not file an appeal on the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA)’s decision to grant Shell Todd Oil Services a 35 year consent to expand its operations at the Maui gas field.
“This is in no way an endorsement of EPA’s decision. Legal opinion we have received indicates that there are arguments on which we could appeal on a point of law.
During the submission and hearing processes, we articulated strongly to the Decision Making Committee the extensive scientific, logical and ethical grounds on which to substantially limit the consent duration, to require a bond and indemnity insurance and to develop a decommissioning plan. None of these were included. How can the Ministry of Environment possibly claim that EPA is being too precautionary?” asked Catherine Cheung, Climate Justice Taranaki.
“As the recent performance reviews on EPA pointed out, a large number of staff don’t know what the organisation’s mission is. Many also believe that EPA exists to support applicants, ministers or decision making committees, not the public which it is ultimately accountable to.
No wonder the current political climate and ‘justice’ system are so hostile to us and others who want change for public good,” said Cheung.
“Given the high costs and how weak and disjointed current environmental laws are, we decided not to appeal, but to regroup, gather forces and continue our work. Our mission is to change the system to one that speaks truth to power, recognizes the limits of our planet, and empowers communities to become sustainable and resilient to the impacts of climate change,” concluded Emily Bailey, Climate Justice Taranaki.
“It is a real disappointment that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided to grant Shell-Todd Oil Services (STOS) the full 35 years consent for more drilling, extraction, dumping and other damaging activities at the Maui gas field off the Taranaki coast” says Emily Bailey, member of Climate Justice Taranaki. “To allow more drilling from the aging wells – many of which have already passed their ‘best before’ dates – is reckless. Despite our detailed submission, the EPA did not insist on a bond that would ensure that wells are maintained, suspended and abandoned in a safe manner. There is also no condition requiring a decommissioning plan or liability insurance should something go seriously wrong.” Read the rest of this entry »
You have until tomorrow 5pm, 3 June, to tell the government what you want NZ to contribute to the global efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This contribution will be tabled at the UN climate change conference in December, and be part of the international negotiations and agreements on emission reduction targets from 2020.
Climate Justice Taranaki suggests the following points for your submission:
1. The discussion document is biased – in favour of current government economic policies. The document ignores the known costs of not acting now on climate change and the substantial financial incentives given to the fossil fuel industry, while exaggerating the costs on household consumption under meagre reduction targets.
2. New Zealand (NZ) is fully capable of reaching at least a 40% reduction target by 2030, within its environmental, technological and socio-economic parameters. We ask for this to be NZ’s contribution – a commitment based on science and ethical grounds.
3. This target or contribution must be supported by concrete policies and actions.
4. One of the key policies must be to stop granting new petroleum exploration and mining permits, ban fracking, and start incentivising sustainable and renewable energy investments and initiatives.
5. The discussion document offers no vision and no alternatives to unsustainable agriculture. Its claim of NZ being “a highly efficient producer” is unfounded, failing to consider the environmental impacts and associated economic costs it is causing. The over-emphases on technological fix (e.g. anti-methane vaccines) and international carbon offsets are NOT solutions to the social and environmental impacts of unsustainable practices.
6. NZ urgently needs a concrete policy on sustainable agriculture and forestry (with financial incentives) that will achieve a clear emission reduction target, increase carbon sink, break the dependence on fossil fuels (including natural gas derived urea and nitrogen inhibitors), heal the soil, clean the waterways and benefit small family farmers.
7. NZ urgently needs a comprehensive policy on sustainable transport, consisting largely of electric public transport, sea, rail and road freight powered by responsible biofuels (eg. waste wood), with clear contribution to emission reduction and energy independence.
8. NZ urgently needs a complete rewrite of its Energy Strategy (2011-2021), ditching the reliance on infinite growth and fossil fuels, and committing NZ to 100% renewable electricity by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2050.
Write your own submission incorporating the above points and email to MFE at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and contact details. Alternatively use the form prepared by Greenpeace, Generation Zero or MFE.
The more of us voice our concerns and demand, the stronger we will be. Speak out for climate justice, for the sake of our future generations and others that share our planet!
Download CJT’s submission with a full list of references.
Steers on BTW Brown Road landfarm, photo by Fiona Clark, 1 June 2014
The New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) announced yesterday that the council will be implementing a “locked gate” policy on Taranaki’s landfarms and other farms where oil/gas wastes have been buried (mix-bury-cover sites). Read the rest of this entry »
Photo from Oil Free Otago.
While we at Climate Justice Taranaki were recovering from our various presentations at the EPA Hearing on Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS)’ Maui gas field marine consent application, groups from north to south of New Zealand stood together on beaches, with hands held together, in protest of deep sea oil drilling. Indeed, all oil and gas drilling must cease, whether onshore or offshore, in deep or shallow waters, for the sake of safeguarding our life-supporting climate, not to mention the more immediate threats to people (think of people living next door to oil/gas wells) and marine life (think of the many endangered marine mammals we have). The Hands Across the Sand action received great media coverage, below are a few:
Read CJT newsletter, 11 May 2015 re the EPA STOS Maui hearing.