At yesterday’s official reopening of Parliament grounds, our group huddled just outside the gate with our flags and signs. Our presence was opted by 1news and Stuff journalists, as well as the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Join Fridays for Future Tamaki Makerau in a protest against Fonterra’s business practices and encourage them to move toward regenerative agriculture. A sustainability rep has agreed to meet them outside their office and answer their questions.
We sent a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, with copies to the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and opposition leader Christopher Luxon
Wellington, May 2022
Kia Ora Ms Ardern,
On 22 April, Earth Day 2022, climate activists in Wellington delivered their requests for action at parliament. ‘Invest in the planet’ and ‘Planet and people before profit’ were the themes for this Global Day of Action for Papatuanuku.
We note that you were in Singapore on Earth Day. As part your press conference you stated:
“We cannot collectively simply return to a high carbon emission business as usual approach. Globally, we have entered what must be an age of action, and that includes the private sector as well. No Government can do this alone, it takes a strong joint effort and I know the business delegation that is travelling with me agrees with this.”
Yes, we are in the age of action but that action needs to be to safeguard our world as best we can. Climate change is here.
Yes, we cannot continue our high carbon emissions return to ‘business as usual’.
Yet you headed to Japan and met with one of the Toyota bosses to arrange for the hydrogen-fuelled car partnership about to hit the streets of Auckland.
You have missed the markif we are heading for more business as usual in a car-centric Aotearoa, albeit one that is a bit less polluting. Affordable public transport for all is far more effective lever for reducing emissions.
Missing the mark on the handshake, a fist bump or a straight handshake, with Japan’s PM, although hilarious, is sadly symptomatic of our continued lagging behind on climate targets in Aotearoa.
“A high five would have been better,” you mumbled once a handshake was established.
Today we bring you our ‘High Five’ to include in a bold Emission Reduction Plan, a key component for a liveable planet for all.
We sincerely hope we, in Aotearoa, do not miss the mark.We do want to shake hands of agreement with our leaders on the ERP to signify the “strong joint effort” on climate action you spoke off in Singapore and that “No Government can do this alone”.
Unfortunately, we cannot at this point in time have a joyous ‘high-five’ moment with you Minister Ardern. The ERP and the new budget do not get close to the mark that is required to change our ‘highly insufficient’ status on the International Climate Tracker.
What we can say – it is good to now have a plan in place and a commitment to work across the major political parties. We urge your government to take a bolder approach.
Climate change is here now.
Violet Chong, Francesca Pouwer and Mick Hillman
Our ‘High Five’ to deliver emission reduction
Do not let agriculture off the hook. This has a crucial role to play. We need transition to sustainable ways of farming to repair and maintain Aotearoa’s lands, waters and wild places which we depend on for food and life.
Halve the herd by 2030 and cut out synthetic nitrogen across all agriculture and horticulture. We need to tackle the huge methane burden Aotearoa imposes on the atmosphere, and this is the most efficient way.
Use R&D to support transition and explore alternative and sustainable agricultural products such as wheat. (We currently import 90% of our wheat for human consumption because we only grow wheat for animal feed.)
Make the biggest polluters do their fair share and incentivise them to be part of the solution.
For Fonterra to: stop using coal by 2028; invest in clean energy production and transition to an alternative income stream, not a low-value product like milk powder that wastes precious water.
For Ravensdown to: stop the sale of synthetic fertilisers by 2028 and develop capacity to upscale production of natural fertiliser/compost for Aoteroa; to become a training company for sustainable farming.
Double the spending on electrified public transport (buses and trains) and micro-mobility options, and permanently reduce fares. The proposed ERP for transport favours individual car ownership of electric cars rather than public transport, and still invests in buying diesel buses for the next 3 years
Zero tolerance to waste, starting now.
Overhaul waste management and recycling to 100% recycling capacity by 2030
Policy development to have 100% sustainable food packaging by 2025
Policy development to bring back a repair culture and make it mandatory for businesses to carry spare parts by 2028
100% renewable energy by 2035.
Use ‘people power’ to heal the planet.
Spearhead a campaign that encourages our team of five million to massively reduce emissions by 2040 and incentivises community and business initiatives to commit to a sustainable future. For example –
Break down the monopoly of electricity companies to allow community initiatives to create clean energy.
Support viable recycling businesses in the community.
Downsize our economy in a way that doesn’t impose serious hardship on the most vulnerable members of society.We need a politics capable of managing equitably not only a finite carbon budget, but a finite material and energy budget as well.We refer you to the Pathways to Survival www.climatejusticenow.nz
Last Thursday some of us joined Extinction Rebellion Te Whanganui-a-Tara / Wellington in a swarm on the streets outside Parliament. With protest signs upheld, we did a circuit around two Molesworth Street intersections, stopping traffic at for around five seconds each time.
At the first swarm, delayed motorists tooted their horns as expected. At the second swarm, one particularly belligerent driver continued to roll into one of the protesters (who is unhurt). At the third, drivers in both oncoming lanes did this. I personally found this very concerning (but then, I am a newbie at disruption tactics).
We hoped the affected drivers stopped thinking about how inconvenienced they were, long enough to consider why we were doing this in the first place.
On Monday members of a range of climate groups got together to chalk-bomb Wellington’s busiest intersections. Below is the media release that followed.
‘Monday night at midnight (16 May) a coalition of climate activists were out chalk-bombing the streets of Wellington, expressing their disappointment and anger over the inadequate nature of the Emissions Response Plan. The new plan proposes our country buys its way out of excess greenhouse gases (GHG) through overseas carbon offsets.
In the face of the escalating GHG emanating from Aotearoa, people from several climate organisations – 350.org, XR, Fridays For Future, and the Fossil Free State Sector Coalition, had come together from the recent Climate Justice Hui to look at possible steps to turn around the juggernaut that is the climate crisis.
“Seeing cars driving over a chalk image of our planetary home is more than a metaphor” said Francesca Pouwers of Fridays For Future.
Multi coloured signs appeared all over our city’s intersections Monday night. Sadly, the chalk images are washed away – but the serious points about what must be done, remain. They are summarised in statements like “Too Much Emission Here”, “Less Cow Now” and “Decarbonise Decolonise”. These are things we must address. Then we can make the necessary changes to avert what looms in the future.
With the Budget being released tomorrow, 19th May, more action can be expected, with XR calling people to gather at midday at the corner of Hill St and Molesworth.
Starting on 20 May 2022 (after the Budget) we will take our protest to the front of the Fonterra building at Midland Park.
A prime climate criminal, they were the target of a light show on Earth Day (courtesy of 350 Aotearoa). Fonterra is Aotearoa New Zealand’s biggest climate polluter, yet they continue to increase dairy herds and burn coal and gas.
Please join us outside the Fonterra Building, Midland Park, central Wellington – every Friday 12.30 – 1.30pm.
Healthy and Climate-Friendly Eating Patterns in the New Zealand Context
A study published in 2020 in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the greenhouse gas emissions of different foods and dietary patterns.
The University of Otago researchers developed a New Zealand-specific food emissions database for 346 commonly eaten foods . The database calculated the total emissions for each food and considered each part of the food’s lifecycle, such as farming and processing, transportation, packaging, warehouse and distribution and refrigeration needs for chilled products.
I helped Indigenous peoples beat Chevron in court and they put me on house arrest. It didn’t work.
Steven Donziger is a US lawyer who has spent much of the last 28 years fighting Chevron and the fossil industry on behalf of Indigenous peoples, over the destruction of the Amazon and our larger planet.