Climate actions to target industrial dairy and colonialism

Photo credit: New Zealand botulism scare triggers global recall. Associated Press
Photo credit: New Zealand botulism scare triggers global recall. Associated Press 2013

Groups across Aotearoa are taking action this week, during COP26 climate negotiations, to highlight the systemic changes needed to urgently bring down our greenhouse gas emissions. After postponement of the large protest this month due to Covid, webinars and smaller localised protests are going ahead with online actions, primarily targeting the country’s biggest climate polluter, Fonterra. 

“The government’s latest announcement declaring we’ll cut emissions to half of what they were in 2005, by 2030 is complete rubbish. They’re fiddling the numbers again comparing net vs gross emissions to pretend we’re reducing emissions when we’re not. And they’re mostly doing it buying up more forests in poor countries so we can keep polluting,” says Emily Bailey from Climate Justice Taranaki. “It’s totally shameful and just emphasises the need for people to push back against business as usual and demand real change, not hypothetical or harmful techno-fixes and a disastrous carbon trading and offset system. We are sick of watching government after government bend to big business instead of taking the urgent action needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions and actually transition the country off fossil fuels. If the government won’t rise up for climate justice, we will.”

Protests following covid restriction guidelines will happen in Wellington, south Taranaki and elsewhere on the 5th and 6th of November. There are also planned online actions and two evening webinars on the 3rd and 4th of November. Renowned speakers Dr Ruakere Hond from Parihaka and Pania Newton from Ihumatao will be amongst other activists discussing colonialism, climate, just solutions and why protest works. The actions here will lead off the Global Day of Action for climate justice on November 6th, with many protests confirmed across the world. Media attention will be high.

“140 years after the crown’s invasion of Parihaka on the 5th of November, it is apt to target Fonterra, a farmer co-operative grown from colonial land theft and the country’s biggest climate and environmental polluter. This massive industrial dairy exporter is heavily reliant on fossil fuels for fertiliser, production, processing, packaging and transport on top of the huge emissions from cattle belching and wastes, urea application, and deforestation. We want an urgent end to fossil fuel extraction, industrial fertiliser, palm kernel extract (PKE), dairy exports, and no false solutions like hydrogen, carbon trading and biofuels.” 

Taranaki Energy Watch spokesperson Sarah Roberts says “Rather than downshifting climate polluting industries urgently, the government is still supporting industrial dairy, fossil fuel extraction and inefficiently wasting renewable energy on making more dirty urea and hydrogen to fuel commodity exports. We are in a climate crisis. This is not the way forward. Emerging technologies, like hydrogen and carbon capture, have limited application globally and unknown effects, yet we are looking at them like our ‘get out of jail free’ card. We live on a finite planet with depleting finite resources and need to accept there can be no more business as usual”, says Roberts.

“We’re sending messages to these industries to say they have no right to jeopardise our future for their profits and to outline our demands for urgent change,” said Eliana Darroch from Auckland Peace Action. “There is much to gain by downsizing our export economy and energy consumption while shifting to localised renewable energy systems, diversified food production and other investments that restore nature and community wellbeing. We need to transform to sustain life. False solutions like biomass and electric cars create their own pollution and are engineered to perpetuate an unsustainable world that shifts the pollution and climate burden to those who have the least.” 

“The recent IPCC report made it abundantly clear again that deep and rapid cuts to emissions are our only hope to restore climate stability,” said Generation Zero spokesperson Adam Currie. “Climate activists in Aotearoa have been demanding real action for over a decade and showing leadership on the ground.”

“We know that a just transition to a beautiful, low-carbon, Te Tiriti compliant Aotearoa is 100% possible. Yet successive governments have failed again and again to put the collective future of the people of Aotearoa above private profit,” says Valerie Morse from Peace Action Wellington. “For the air we breathe, for the kaimoana we gather, and for the places we call home – the people are saying enough is enough. It’s time to rise up for climate justice. As our worst polluter, we lay the challenge now at Fonterra’s feet.”   

More information: go to the event website https://riseupforclimate.nz/

WEBINARS 3-4 November

[https://riseupforclimate.nz/webinars-34-nov-2021/]

‘Remember Parihaka: colonialism, dairy and climate change’:

Wednesday 3rd November 7.30-9pm. An important kōrero to understand the history, contemporary situation and the solutions we have right now with Dr Ruakere Hond and Emily Tuhi-Ao Bailey from Parihaka.

‘Why Bother? Direct action and the climate movement’:

Thursday 4th November 7.30-9pm. Join climate activists as we discuss the role of direct action in the movement for climate justice, past and present. Speakers include Pania Newton from Ihumātao with Siana Fitzjohn, campaigner and activist against fossil fuels, Rosemary Penwarden, long time climate activist from Ōtepoti and Nate Rew, a Papua New Guinean and Pākehā student, academic and activist based in Tāmaki Makaurau.

LOCAL PUBLIC ACTIONS 5-6 November

Pōneke/ Wellington

Remember Parihaka – Rise Up for Climate Justice Action on 5 November

Meet at 9am Friday 5th at Loaves and Fishes Hall at Wellington Cathedral for a short training in non-violence, as well as a briefing for the action. From there, we will move to various climate polluter targets in defence of the climate! https://www.facebook.com/events/475044260343635?ref=newsfeed

South Taranaki, Te Hawera

Rise Up for Climate Justice Action 6 November

Join us in taking direct action against major climate polluter Fonterra to demand that they and the Government make urgent, just transformation to get to carbon zero by 2030. Meet 10am to 3pm at the big cow, 11 Whareroa Road, Te Hāwera. Bring a mask, placard, packed lunch, drink, music, chalk, spade and native tree to plant, and be prepared for all weather. Family friendly event. We will be abiding to social distancing requirements so stay in your bubbles. https://www.facebook.com/events/597881424959303?ref=newsfeed

Check our website for more actions elsewhere and to sign the various PETITIONS there from groups around the country working for climate justice https://riseupforclimate.nz/take-action-56-nov-2021/

ONLINE ACTIONS 5-6 November

Disrupt Fonterra’s corporate messaging!

Use your social media & hashtags to do #GoodTogether by exposing how fraudulent Fonterra’s good business messaging is alongside images of mud-farming, use of synthetic fertiliser, ‘blood phosphates’ from occupied Western Sahara and PKE from rainforest destruction, alongside river pollution, deforestation, poor animal welfare and their stubborn refusal to meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.

You can use social media to send a message to Fonterra about how you feel about them destroying our climate, water and land. Make sure you tag in #GoodTogether and #RiseUpForClimateJustice

Contact Fonterra directly to tell them how good it would be to move away from industrial dairy. See here for more ideas and get creative! https://docs.google.com/…/16UWya-lbwNV-nPT5xBf6…/edit…

WEROHIA! – Send a wero/challenge to the government and big polluters that we want urgent change.

Take a selfie or video of your hand coloured red holding a leaf and share our petitions and 4 demands:

– End extraction of fossil fuels

– Ban industrial fertiliser & PKE

– End dairy exports

– No false solutions

If you are culturally trained feel free to send a video of a traditional wero. Share these to your social media sites and encourage or wero others to do the same. More information on the 4 demands can be found here https://riseupforclimate.nz/our-demands/