Press release: Taranaki Hydrogen roadmap smoke and mirrors

18/03/2019

NYTimes What is climate change cartoon 2015

Climate Justice Taranaki questions the environmental and economic arguments for the Taranaki Hydrogen Roadmap released on Friday.

“The roadmap is full of fanciful ideas and technologies that are unproven and still at the experimental or development stages. They are fine if we have lots of time, but we are in a climate emergency. With just 12 years left to turn things around, we need to act fast by upscaling proven renewable energy technologies, and investing in energy conservation and resilience,” said Catherine Cheung, spokesperson for Climate Justice Taranaki. Read the rest of this entry »

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Media release: Just Transition plan not just or workable

11/02/2019

rule_one.jpgClimate Justice Taranaki is skeptical of public workshops beginning this week on a ‘Taranaki 2050 Roadmap’. The workshops continue the Tapuae Roa strategy and action plan recently written by the Ministry for Business Inovation and Enterprise (MBIE), the four councils and business heads with only some iwi input.

“The idea of this just transition plan sounds great but in reality it’s the same old profit-driven, environmentally and socially destructive global capitalist model. This is the exact model that in only a few generations brought us to the crisis we now face. What’s more, the community is only getting a say once they already agreed on the core of the plan and the workshops are being held during work hours when most people can’t participate. It’s unworkable and unjust.” says spokesperson Emily Bailey for Climate Justice Taranaki.

“The problem with the plan is the focus remains on growing the economy and increasing international shipping and tourism. There is still a complete lack of understanding that economic growth typically comes from social and environmental degradation. It is highly unlikely alternatives to the huge energy-guzzling ships and numerous planes we now use will come online by 2050. Importing and exporting goods is also incredibly wasteful and shifts profit from the poor producers to the rich traders. Remaining reliant on this market model leads us blindly to a collapse of global dairy markets and international tourism – this country’s two largest earners.”

“Our current gas fields are quickly running out and we less than 12 years left to turn the tide on climate change. More efficient use of gas such as the new H2 project is just too little too late and still too polluting given the massive CO2 emissions when burnt, fugitive methane emissions from numerous leaks and nitrous oxide emissions from the urea fertiliser they want to make – not to mention the burping cows. When you calculate methane not in a 100 year cycle but in a 20 year cycle like we do for CO2, it is actually 84 times worse than CO2. Nitrous oxide is 300 times worse.”

“Millions of public money should not have been given to “high risk” energy development projects for big business. It should be supporting thousands of small-scale, diverse and sustainable local projects run by communities who know what needs to be done. Just transition economies exist but the government has chosen to put our country’s future in the hands of those who created the mess we are in: profiteers.”

“We have to face the fact that a just transition involves much more than phasing out fossil fuels. A just transition must address the fact that all natural resources and ecosystems are on the brink of collapse due to our modern take, use and trash lifestyles. We need to shift our economic focus to the local community level. We need to rehabilitate native ecosystems such as fisheries and decentralise and connect communities with diverse farms and workshops that provide food and other products for locals. This is just transition. Our current trajectory is extinction and the only alternative is rebellion to the status quo.” concludes Bailey.

As Naomi Klein said “the answer is far more simple than many have led us to believe: we have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe — and would benefit the vast majority — are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets.”

Cartoon source: https://www.theselc.org/building_just_transition_with_a_pcec

Media coverage:

Phony transition claim as Taranaki looks to the future (Waatea News, 14/02/2019)

Taranaki transition: ‘There will be new forms of energy’ (RNZ, 15/02/2019)

Taranaki plots course to low emissions economy (RNZ, 15/02/2019)


Press release: Sustainable hydrogen or oxymoron?

21/11/2018

Yesterday, 150 scientists and researchers made this stark warning: A disastrous future for humanity if we continue our current path of “rampant consumerism and endless economic growth”. In an open letter, they demand that the government “meets its duty to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come.”

So on the same day when Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones spoke of a potential, “monumental” one billion dollar project that would “create hydrogen and create an output of urea” it leaves you wondering what exactly the government thinks cutting emissions by half really means.

“There’s a saying: ‘rolling a turd in glitter’ and that’s exactly what Shane Jones is offering” says Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey. “This second round of unsustainable Think Big technology is not proven and even if it was it will be ridiculously expensive and still require fracked gas that is estimated to run out in ten years time. Who in their right mind would invest in such a project?”.

The project has been touted by the US based 8 Rivers Capital LLC. According to their website, the company has developed technology to generate power from fossil fuels, apparently without air emissions, the only by-products being ‘water’ and “pipeline-ready” or “carbon capture-ready” carbon dioxide.

“Based on our research, carbon capture and storage (CCS) has not been effective or economically viable anywhere, despite decades of talks and trials. One project in the US captures about one tenth of the CO2 emitted from a coal-fired power station and pipes it 80 miles to an oil field to be injected into old wells to produce more oil. The term ‘clean coal’ is simply oxymoron – how can one say CCS is clean or sustainable when it fuels yet more fossil fuel mining?”

“To use the waste to produce more urea for industrial farming is also ludicrous given it is one of the planet’s worst greenhouse gas emitting chemicals and a serious soil and waterway pollutant. It’d be a monumentally disastrous project, one that would take us to a disastrous future – climate breakdown. We do not accept ‘blue hydrogen’ made from fossil fuels involving carbon capture and storage as clean either – it is yet another oxymoron.”

“Never before have our prominent scientists united and spoke against consumerism and economic growth so loudly, we have got to listen and ask ourselves what sort of a future we want? Taranaki was much better off before big oil and gas brought centralised milk production stations, synthetic fertiliser and trucks, ships, mechanisation and megadebts to farming. The younger generations are already firing ahead with community-scale regenerative and urban farming projects that offer far better quality of life for workers and massively reduce emissions, waste and pollution. Alongside renewable energy and energy efficient infrastructure this just makes sense.”

“There is a huge push from society for real solutions, just look at the massive protests in London this week and the numerous petitions pushing for going plastic-free and banning urea, deep-sea oil and fracking. More of the same gives us more of the same. It’s time to focus on existing, proven sustainable projects rather than expensive, massively flawed pies in the sky” said Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Cartoon: https://www.chemistryworld.com/opinion/the-carbon-capture-challenge/9069.article

Media coverage: Environmentalist critical of Taranaki’s proposed $1b hydrogen project, TDN 23/11/2018


Press release: Petroleum companies under pressure

08/10/2018

protest-outside-todd-2oct18-kc.jpg

The pressure is building against oil, gas and coal companies in Aotearoa who continue to push for fossil fuel extraction with increasing community calls to curb climate change. Protesters will be gathering outside Todd Energy, Beach Energy and OMV tomorrow Tuesday 9 October. Read the rest of this entry »


Government’s ludicrous petroleum proposal

22/09/2016
nzpam-proposed-block-offer-sep16-taranaki-basin-all

NZPAM website, 21 September 2016

The New Zealand government has just proposed to release half a million square kilometres of our land and sea to petroleum exploration.

The Taranaki Basin offer encompassed a third of the West Coast Marine Mammal Sanctuary, designated for the protection of the nearly extinct Maui’s Dolphin. The government says this has been re-introduced due to commercial interest in the area”.

So rather than upholding New Zealand’s international obligation to protect endangered species and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the government does what corporations want – providing a stable and predictable regime”.   Read the rest of this entry »


Taranaki Daily News opinion poll 4/5/2013

04/05/2013

Taranaki Daily News opinion poll 4/5/2013

The message is surprisingly clear as tides are turning in Texanaki… In an ironic statement from our regional council, Director of environmental quality Gary Bedford said the council was concerned its submissions [on proposed government regulations around deepsea drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone] hadn’t been incorporated. “In our experience self-regulation can fall over. It increases the possibility that if something goes wrong, it goes wrong bigger.” What hypocrisy from a government department that has been operating like this for decades. Read more here.

Read also ‘Black gold, dark clouds’ 4/05/2013 written by Matt Rilkoff for the Taranaki Daily News…”Ben Sarten stepped inside the Tikorangi house he was raised in, closed the door and wondered where he was. ‘This doesn’t feel like home anymore.'”

And ‘One more well is too much’ 24/04/2013

 


MEDIA COVERAGE: Drew Hutton Lock the Gate NZ Speaking Tour

23/08/2012

Fighting Fracking – Resisting oil’s hard sale (NZ Farmers Weekly, 10 Sept 2012)

Lessons to be learned from Aussie farmers (Stratford Press, 6 Sept 2012)

Best coal under best land (NZ Farmers Weekly, 3 Sept 2012)

Gas exploration will hurt farm values, says campaigner (The Southland Times, 30 Aug 2012)

Close your gates, Aussie urges farmers (Taranaki Daily News, 29 Aug 2012)

Campaigner urges NZ to not follow Australia (3 News,29 Aug 2012)

Australian anti-fracking campaigner talks to NZ farmers – Interview with Drew Hutton and Rosalind Archer by Kathryne Ryan (NZ Radio Nine to Noon, 23 Aug 2012)

Fracking in New Zealand – the debate continues (NZ Listener, 18 Aug 2012)