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.


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.


VIDEO: Protest in Kapuni – Disrupt the climate criminals

08/05/2019

Gas >> Synthetic Urea >> Industrial Dairy = CLIMATE CRISIS!

Halt all Block Offers on Oil & Gas

Demand Methane emission targets are the same as fossil fuel emission targets – no letting Fonterra off the hook again in the new Zero Carbon Act.


MEDIA RELEASE: Earth protectors disrupt Taranaki climate criminals

08/05/2019

MEDIA RELEASE: Earth protectors disrupt Taranaki climate criminals

“The business operations happening at Kapuni, in South Taranaki, can best be described as a climate crime scene” says Emily Bailey, a member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Climate protectors disrupted activities at drilling company Todd Energy, chemical fertiliser manufacturer Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Fonterra in southern Taranaki today to make it clear that the time for real climate action is now.

“We strongly object to the new oil and gas block offers announced last week. All new permits must be halted until the climate crisis is averted. It is completely irresponsible to keep extracting more and more fossil fuels. Until this happens there is little incentive for a true transition away from fossil fuels, as can be seen in some proposals to use gas to make hydrogen power. All renewable energy sources must be completely free of fossil fuels.”

“We also want everyone to see the massive dependence of this country’s industrial dairy farming on fossil fuels for fertiliser, machinery, transport, processing and packaging. The government announced today that the new Zero Carbon Act will split agricultural emissions from fossil fuel emissions and only demand a 10% gross reduction on 2017 methane levels by 2030. We say this is not good enough.”

“We have to stop measuring methane on a 100 year scale and think ten years which is what we have left to stop this runaway climate crisis. On a 20 year scale methane is about over 80 times worse than carbon dioxide.” Read the rest of this entry »


MEDIA RELEASE: Climate defence protest against oil drillers – New Plymouth

19/02/2019

On Wednesday 20th February members of Climate Justice Taranaki will be restarting ongoing protests at the headquarters of climate polluters in Taranaki. This week, the group is going to Todd Energy and OMV from 12pm, at 32-38 Molesworth St, New Plymouth to demonstrate continued opposition to oil and gas drilling.

We are currently witnessing an unprecedented global youth movement in defence of the climate. Students from across the world are going on strike and taking inspiring actions to demand urgent system change. If we want to have any chance of a stable climate for future generations, we have to stop extracting fossil fuels now” says Urs Signer, spokesperson for Climate Justice Taranaki.

Despite the government’s law change to ban new offshore petroleum permits, existing permit holders continue to drill on- and offshore, and new permits may be issued onshore in Taranaki. We are currently finding ourselves in the sixth mass extinction event with current rates of extinction of species estimated at 100 to 1,000 times higher than natural background rates.”

What we need is an urgent and just transition away from fossil fuels, industrial agriculture and a greedy economic system that is based on destroying the environment, communities and people’s livelihoods for the benefits of the one percent. Our message to the companies and the rich and powerful is this: your time is up. We can now choose between extinction or rebellion – and the striking students across the globe are telling us – it’s time to rebel in defence of our climate” concludes Urs Signer.

Media coverage:

Taranaki leaders determined to help region grow despite oil industry woes (TDN, 21Feb19)


Press release: EPA denies Climate Justice Official Information Request

07/11/2018

Tamarind Umuroa Tui field Energyglobalnews

Climate Justice Taranaki has been denied information regarding legal advice sought by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The advice concerned processing of OMV’s consent applications for its oil drilling programme in the Taranaki Basin.

“At the EPA hearing on OMV’s marine discharge consent application in September, we argued that the application should be jointly processed with all other applications associated with the drilling programme. We asked that legal advice be sought on this matter. Subsequent to the granting of the consent on the 4th October, we wrote to EPA, requesting clarifications and documents relating to any legal advice that EPA might have received. A month later, EPA replied, confirming that there had been legal advice but the relevant documents would be withheld ‘in order to maintain legal professional privilege’. We feel this is not natural justice,” said Catherine Cheung, Researcher of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Tomorrow we will be holding a protest at the Quality Hotel Plymouth International where EPA will hear Tamarind Taranaki Limited’s drilling and discharge consent applications. While Tamarind’s proposed activities are publicly notified, OMV’s application to drill 12 new exploratory/appraisal wells across six licensed areas in the Taranaki Basin is non-notified. According to the Crown Minerals Act, if OMV finds any viable oil and gas, mining licenses spanning decades will be granted. All this is allowed to happen behind closed doors. What about transparency and democracy?” asked Cheung.

“A vast majority of the 6539 submitters on the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill supports the Bill and wants it strengthened, by putting an end to all new and existing oil and gas exploration and mining, on and offshore. The overriding message is loud and clear: Real action to cut greenhouse gas emissions is long overdue.  Time is running out.  We cannot say that climate change is our nuclear free moment while allowing companies to extract more fossil fuels. Climate inaction is not only costly, but constitutes moral negligence,” added Cheung.

“The legislation is full of loop-holes and biased in favour of the industry.  The EEZ Act explicitly excludes consideration of emissions on climate change.  This is crazy, at a time when climate disruptions are threatening our very existence.  We challenge the EPA over its petroleum consenting process which appears to be little more than a tick box exercise,” said Emily Bailey, Spokesperson of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Fossil fuel companies have no social license to operate here or anywhere.  They are recalcitrant climate polluters, wrecking our life support system.  They cause havoc in rural farming communities, drive social inequality and damage our local environments. They even fuel conflicts and wars.  We want them gone,” concluded Bailey.­

Photo source: Global Energy News

Download slides presented by Dr L DeVantier and CJT at the EPA Tamarind hearing.

Media:

Activists oppose Tui oil field expansion with toasts and song, ShareChat, 8/11/18

Proposed development would extend life of Tui oil field operator, RNZ, 6/11/18