Author: Cana Admin

Fonterra’s coal-fired climate folly

by Jeanette Fitzsimons Why would Fonterra spend several million dollars on a process lasting nearly a year, seeking planning consent for a huge new milk drier that it knows will never be built?Perhaps that’s not a lot of money to them – after all, one million is only three months’ salary for their CEO. Fonterra’s proposed Studholme project, just outside of Waimate in South Canterbury, would see two new spray driers powered by two immense coal boilers – one 65MW, the other 50.   This is the biggest new coal burning project in the country, with the hearing happening just...

Read More

Amid NZ coal mine closures, layoffs, do we need two new mines?

Last week was a bad week for coal mines on the West Coast. Early in the week Solid Energy announced 24 workers would lose their jobs from the Stockton mine, and by the end of the week Bathurst announced that it is putting the Denniston mine on hold, laying off 12 workers. Terrible news for those workers and their families. At the heart of this is the same issue that sent Solid Energy under: plummeting coking coal prices – a price that has continued to fall, and was again cited as the reason for Solid’s new layoffs. Over on the Denniston Plateau, Bathurst’s woes have stemmed, in the first instance, from the long-signalled closure of the Holcim plant in Westport, its biggest client. Bathurst has had to seek domestic buyers for its high grade coking coal, because of the low international price. Bathurst has managed to keep Denniston’s head above water because of Holcim. It has kept the rest of its operations afloat due to other domestic customers like Fonterra. No doubt has it hopes pinned on Fonterra’s plans to continue to expand its coal-fired milk drying operations, such as the one at Studholme, near Waimate – plans that must now be in jeopardy, given its financial state. Fonterra is now the second largest user of coal in the country. Buller District Mayor Garry Howard tried to explain the...

Read More

More coal jobs gone, still no transition plan from Government

Press Release With the news of 68 coal jobs going today in Huntly East Coal Mine, Coal Action Network Aotearoa called for the Government to urgently put time and effort into a national discussion on a Just Transition for workers from the failing coal industry. “Huntly East’s closing was inevitable after Genesis Energy’s announcement that it will close New Zealand’s last remaining coal-fired power station. Now that Solid Energy is in administration, we can only expect more of this,” said Cindy Baxter of Coal Action Network Aotearoa. “But where is the Government’s transition plan for these workers – and others in the future who may lose their jobs due to Solid Energy’s demise?” Genesis already has a stockpile of 700,000 tonnes of coal, and used the announcement of Solid Energy going into administration to break its contract with the company. Globally, the coal industry is struggling, as China and India increasingly turn to renewable energy. Last week, the largest worker layoff in China’s history saw 100,000 coal industry workers lose their jobs. A number of US coal producers have declared bankruptcy, others are teetering, and global giants such as BHP Billiton and Glencore are putting on brave faces as they head into a worsening commodities crash. “The Government cannot just sit back and watch as communities bear the brunt of its mismanagement of Solid Energy – these workers deserve...

Read More

Key told not to attend Paris and to pull NZ delegation

Joint Press release with CANA, Greenpeace, 350.org Auckland 25 September 2015 – A coalition of environmental organisations (1), is calling for John Key not to attend the upcoming Paris climate summit, and to pull Tim Groser and the entire New Zealand delegation from the two weeks of talks. “New Zealand is proving one of the biggest blocks to a meaningful global deal in December. In the interests of a successful outcome and for the good of the climate, we’re asking that our delegation not go,” said Greenpeace climate campaigner Steve Abel. As well as having one of the weakest climate action plans and one of the poorest emission reduction records of the developed nations who’ll be in Paris, the New Zealand delegation also wants countries’ emission targets to be non-binding under any agreement, meaning governments could walk away from their targets at any time. “The world’s ability to manage climate change rests on these targets; they must legally oblige  governments to reduce emissions. To call for them to be non-binding is to admit defeat from the outset,” said Niamh O’Flynn from 350 Aotearoa. “Tim Groser and our delegation’s remit will be to prevent a Paris agreement that commits New Zealand to more climate action,” said Cindy Baxter of Coal Action Network Aotearoa. “They’ll be doing everything they can to bring everyone down to New Zealand’s level, in which case...

Read More

Our letter to John Key: pull our delegation from the Paris meeting – and don’t go yourself

Our Letter to Prime Minister, the Hon John Key Dear Prime Minister, Climate change is the challenge of our time; its scale and reach making it unlike anything humanity has faced in the past or is likely to face in future. As such, Governments will gather in Paris in December in an attempt to reach a global deal limiting warming to 2 degrees and setting countries up for zero-carbon economies by 2050.    Paris can be a watershed moment; the choices made there could determine whether our planet is a viable one on which we can all live. Already, we have Tuvalu’s Prime Minister seeking to move his entire population to another country. Any agreement to come out of Paris must be legally binding; it must commit, by law, all countries to cut their emissions, and it must prevent governments backsliding in the face of political or economic change. The New Zealand delegation to Paris, led by Minister Groser, is pushing for countries’ emission reduction targets to be non-binding, meaning governments could walk away from them at any time. This approach would fail to deliver the emission cuts needed to safely manage climate change, the results of which would be catastrophic. The European Union and others have already rejected non-binding targets for this reason. In light of this, and with respect, we request that you withdraw New Zealand’s delegation...

Read More

Archives