Our core committee consisting of Jeanette Fitzsimons, Joanna Santa Barbara, Pat Baskett, Torfrida Wainwright, Paul Bruce and Ralph Adler welcomed Robin Treadwell to join us part way through the year.
There were two revisions to the Declaration: firstly, accepting that the new coalition government had decided to revise the ETS rather than introduce a carbon tax, we altered our wording from ‘carbon tax’ to ‘carbon price’.
Secondly, in response to the urgency to reduce greenhouse gases we have tightened our targets to ‘Reduce the extraction and burning of fossil fuels to 50% by 2025 and to zero by 2030’: and ‘Stop all non-essential air travel; halve aviation emissions by 2025.’ Our item on the economic system now reads as ‘Work towards a waste-free, circular economy that creates wellbeing for all citizens and respects Nature’s limits.’
During 2018 workshops on the Declaration were held in Rotorua, Tauranga, Thames, Wanaka, Hamilton and Blenheim. All of these were led by Jeanette in conjunction with other members. Their aim was to provide guidance in setting up local Climate Action Plans. Paul made a presentation at the ECO annual meeting, and Jeanette at Waikato University. Jeanette met with officers of Wellington Rotary to discuss ways of promoting climate action.
Website: several excellent blogs have been added to the site. Some of these have gone on to mainstream publication.
Facebook: We were pleased to receive advice from Julie Nevin on how to use this resource. Our Letter to Supporters has been posted monthly.
Many supporters acted at the blockade of the Oil Summit in Wellington in February, many of them as ‘Climate Grans’ in yellow capes and headbands. This occasion included a meeting with Megan Woods, Minister for Mines, and climate NGO representatives, including ourselves.
Support for the Zero Carbon Bill has been and will continue to be a strong focus.
Coal-burning in Dunedin schools is an ongoing one.
Work with local councils or boards is ongoing in Dunedin, Christchurch, Waiheke, Nelson and Tasman. Joanna wrote a rough compendium on local council actions on climate change in NZ and elsewhere, supplementary to the Local Government NZ one.
We are aware of our strengths in knowledge, activist and political experience, our contacts and our writing and speaking ability and mana. We have developed a vision for Aotearoa, and have promoted it wherever and whenever appropriate situations have arisen. Our theory of change is to remain vigilantly opportunistic, acting supportively to the government to strengthen its mandate when it follows the direction of our vision, and being ready to criticize when it isn’t. We recognise that we have capacities to tackle issues in our arena that are difficult for some – consumerism in general, aviation in particular, diet, population, the growth economy, how climate change action affects low income people. We see our role as providing information and support for Declaration members working in these areas.
This year we hope to liaise more locally with Declaration supporters and other like-minded organisations. We would like to share the vision of the Declaration more broadly and to work towards realising the goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.
Joanna Santa Barbara, convenor