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Our Climate Declaration

Greetings to all friends and supporters of Our Climate Declaration and welcome to our update latest newsletter. The election: This has dominated the activist energies of many of us in recent weeks. At the time of writing, the nature of the governing coalition has not been determined, but two aspects of the elections are worth comments. Firstly, environmental issues were prominent in this election to a degree not seen since the native forest issues of the 1970s. Fresh water topped the list, but climate breakdown (to adopt George Monbiot’s term) was strongly featured. It’s reasonable to interpret this as a heightened awareness in ordinary New Zealanders. The strategies of Our Climate Declaration are well suited to surf this wave. Our focus on conversations in our ordinary life spaces, and on making changes at our places of work, leisure, learning and worship are just right to keep people engaged in the issue, taking action into their own hands and heightening their demands on the government to come. Secondly, while we would dearly love to have a government committed to the vision of Aotearoa expressed in the Declaration, in fact, whatever coalition we get, our work is much the same – to strengthen the grass/flaxroots movement towards this vision…by stopping the bad stuff, bringing on the good and pressuring the government.
Stopping the bad stuff
The most outstanding action involving Declaration members in recent weeks took place in Christchurch. The Australasian Institute of Mining and Minerals ended a conference on September 13th at the Transitional Cathedral. The Dean of the Cathedral, Lawrence Kimberley, gave a pre-dinner speech in which he spoke ‘on global warming, on why the Anglican Church was morally obligated to divest from fossil fuels and their commitment to the Pasifika people and to all others, human and non-human, affected by Climate Change.’ Several Declaration supporters were involved in bringing this about.
Ngatimoti School student with bug hotel
Climate Action Plans
Our latest Climate Action Plan is from a primary school in the Top of the South – Ngatimoti. The children care for a stream and a wetland and their own immediate environment as a basis for learning in science, the arts, Maori values, cooperative processes and much more.
Pressuring government
The last few weeks have been all about that! The Zero Carbon Act and, in particular, the idea of a Climate Commission have been broadly aired. It will be important to lend what support we can to our colleagues in Generation Zero and Wise Response as they follow through on these issues.
Facebook Group Cover Image
Good Climate Conversations
We have now created a space where people who have signed the Declaration can discuss how they are working to implement it – their problems and successes in gathering more signatures; their activities in developing new climate action plans; and comments and discussion on our blogs and other information which are on the website. It is a Facebook Group – Our Climate Declaration Action group – a “closed” group, meaning everyone can read it but only those who join can post on it. As it is just starting there isn’t a lot there yet, but if you join and participate it will soon grow into a very powerful communication channel among climate activists. Ask a question – and someone will be sure to answer. Make a controversial statement and someone will debate it! It is not however a space to debate whether climate change is real and is human induced – we regard that debate as settled and don’t want to waste space on it
Image of Climate Declaration Launch
We would like to offer training to our supporters in engaging people in climate conversations and in working on climate action in organisations. A model we’re considering is a two-part training session in which the first few hours have to do with ‘inner strengthening’ – believing in yourself, standing your ground, dealing with hostility, approaching people with curiosity and compassion, not polarizing, and so on. The second few hours would be practice at applying these principles in simulated conversations and group situations such as one might meet in real life. What do you think? We’d value your input on this. Among our supporters there’s a great deal of experience and skill, and we’re eager to engage you. Please contact us for more info.
What are you doing?
Please let us know what you are doing. Have you got more people to sign? Had interesting climate conversations? Shared the website material on Facebook? Held a stall in your local market? We’d love to share what you are doing.
Thanks, we hope you have enjoyed this update as much as we enjoyed writing it.

The Team
Our Climate Declaration

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