by Torfrida Wainwright
Here are six subdivisions of the national climate movement that focus on a rapid shift from fossil fuels to renewables. The list doesn’t include the myriad of actions and campaigns that focus on specific environmental issues like water, reforestation, or palm-oil, nor does it identify the personal/organisationally-
Changing government climate policy – campaigning for an independent climate commission and a carbon tax.
Gen Zero, a NZ-wide youth organisation, is pushing for a Zero Carbon Act to set emission targets and for a national plan to achieve the targets through an independent climate commission.
A small national multi-organisation group is about to launch Our Climate Declaration, a summary of the changes NZ needs to make to address climate change. It is a manifesto for individuals, families, schools, councils, and community organisations. Targets are worked toward online, but the document can also provide the basis for a scorecard so that voters can assess political party policies this year. Website coming soon.
Wise Response & NZ Risk Assessment Appeal is a national grouping of scientists, academics and others who appealed to the government for a risk assessment of climate change and better modelling in 2014.
Many climate activists around NZ are using the next seven months to work within the opposition parties to achieve an urgent change in government. A 30-MP, cross-party climate action group has been set up by Green MP Kennedy Graham as part of Globe International, a global grouping of legislators working for climate change.
Online campaigning organisation, Action Station Aotearoa, recently held a hui in Auckland to explore what climate action groups are doing for the election and how they can collaborate with one another.
Divestment – campaigns to pressure banks, super funds, universities, churches and other institutions to stop funding fossil fuels.
The cluster bomb issue last year helped give more impetus to this campaign for ethical investment – fossil fuels are the cluster bombs of the planet! 350 is putting pressure on the NZ Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels and is mobilising people around New Zealand to demand Westpac stop funding the new Adani Carmichael Mine near the Great Barrier Reef.Universities and churches are responding to pressure from their members to divest their funds from fossil fuels. Auckland and Otago Universities have done so, and most of the major churches. University of Otago’s big win on this and how it was achieved is inspiring reading.
Oil Free campaigns – to stop deep-sea oil drilling and on-land fracking in New Zealand
A planned blockade of the international Petroleum Summit in New Plymouth and the annual Hands Across the Sands event give voice to public disapproval of deep sea oil drilling. Oil Free groups round NZ will be lobbying local and regional councils and iwi to oppose the government’s new block offers for deep sea oil drilling areas. The Deep Sea Oil Lease consultations in June is a great opportunity to raise local councillors’ awareness and also dialogue with iwi. And Greenpeace campaigners continue to exact influence to stop stop oil exploration by seismic blasting with brave, vivid direct action.
Stop production and use of coal in New Zealand
We strengthened our campaign to make Fonterra Quit Coal with our Clandeboye action. Fonterra’s need for coal ensures the viability of New Zealand coal mines that have no other real market. While we invest our effort into this campaign, communities are questioning why coal is still being burnt in school, council, and hospital boilers.
Forest and Bird is at the coal face, working to prevent a new mine opening on the West Coast. Most of the proposed mine, planned to deface the ridge of Mount Te Kuha, would be on a Water Conservation Reserve.
100% renewable cities and Compact of Mayors
350 Christchurch has been pressuring Christchurch City Council to go 100% renewable energy and sign up to the global Compact of Mayors.
Coordination and communication
It’s a big and important job keeping all of this information flowing without organisations getting overwhelmed, missing out or tripping over one another. ECO, a national organisation, is setting up hubs at a national and local level so that the huge number of climate and environmental organisations can share information and events more easily.