As people across Aotearoa still struggle to recover from recent extreme weather events, from the winds in Southland, flash floods in Queenstown, and of course Cyclone Gabrielle, and amid discussions about EQC buyouts and managed retreat, we’re also in the midst of an election campaign.
While climate change is relatively high in peoples’ minds (depending on where you live), other issues like the economy continue to dominate the headlines. Yet climate change affects everything, from the price of vegetables to our insurance bills, our health, our housing, and indeed our economy.
Even so, as the election campaign kicked off we saw National Party Leader Chris Luxon lift $600 million a year from the climate fund to pay for his tax cuts and Labour leader Chris Hipkins cut another $200m of climate policies without even informing the Minister.
Voting has started!
Voting has opened. You can find a list of polling booths here.
So now that you CAN vote, you have to make the decision as to WHO to vote for. There’s been a few websites where you can look at policy and see how you might want to cast your vote. But the main ones, in our view, don’t cover climate in enough detail, nor the other important and related issues.
Here’s our recommendations:
- Elections Scorecards has been put together by a great team of organisations who’ve rated party policies along the issues of Te Tiriti, Tax & Profits, Fairness, Justice, Climate, workers and housing.
- VoteForClimate by the Climate Club – this also has a range of activities you can take part in to help get out the vote
- Climate Shift by Greenpeace, Oxfam and Forest & Bird as a 10-point plan for climate action which you should take not of and take to candidate meetings to ask pertinent questions.
We know climate is at least in the top five of peoples concerns, but the main objective is to get Climate Change to the top of people’s minds when they vote.
Triple the vote
This year it’s so important for everyone to vote. It’s easy. You just need to go along to a voting booth, and they’ll take you through the process. You don’t have to register before going, or even wait for your voting card. Just rock up and vote.
On top of that, do you have people in your life who may not vote? Can you convince them to come with you? If all of us got three people out to vote who weren’t going to, we can triple the vote. These people might not be in the country, but they can still vote (if they’ve visited Aotearoa in recent years). It’s never been easier – they can register, and do it all online. Send them the link.
Scientists have been holding an emergency summit about the terrible state of Antarctic sea ice. NIWA marine physicist Dr Natalie Robinson says that in the 44 years of monitoring the ocean, they’ve never seen anything like it
The International Energy Agency last week published its latest Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario, which sets out the pathways to get to net zero, globally. It’s ALL possible, it says, but we need coal and gas out of our energy systems by, latest, 2035. Shame Fonterra wants to continue burning coal all the way through to 2037. Getting methane out of the system is also crucial.
There’s been some good (and some not-so-good) articles about the election, but we’ll end this blog by quoting this great article by Simon Wilson on why farmers should be voting Green :
Why wouldn’t they? They are kaitiaki, or guardians of the land. They manage a big range of environmental impacts every day.
They’re far more likely than most of us to be affected by floods, droughts and the devastation caused by slash and other poor land management. They are in the forefront of the fight against new diseases in the ecosystem and every threat from insect, plant and animal pests.
They know what’s at stake because they live in the midst of it.