MEDIA RELEASE: Govt climate emergency just empty rhetoric?

“While declaring a climate emergency is an important gesture, successive governments in Aotearoa/NZ have given us nothing but empty rhetoric when it comes to implementing solutions to solve our global climate crisis” says Urs Signer, spokesperson for community group Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Jacinda Ardern and her ministers had three years to bring about meaningful, urgent and transformative change and so far we just haven’t seen it. Our communities in Taranaki – unions, community and environmental groups – have been calling for a just transition away from fossil fuels. Activists up and down the country have called on the agricultural sector to embrace regenerative practices, to move away from synthetic fertilisers and palm kernel feed. Instead, let’s diversify production and reforest waterways and wetlands. Public transport users have been campaigning for appropriate investment to connect rural and urban communities.”

“The School Strike movement and hapū and iwi have all been pointing to the overarching issue of inter-generational equity. Inequality, poverty, precarious work conditions, theft of land and resources are all interconnected with the present climate crisis and the dramatic extinction rates and loss of biodiversity we are witnessing. To rapidly reduce emissions, consistent with the government’s rhetoric, we need to see urgent amendments to key legislation, including the Crown Minerals Act, the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf Act and the Resource Management Act, to turn around the climate crisis.”

“We have demonstrated that decisive collective action can bring terrific results during a global pandemic. Our climate needs us to embark on urgent systemic change while we only have a few years to turn things around for future generations. The last thing we need is a government that is full of empty rhetoric and no action” concludes Urs Signer.