Our Climate Declaration

We welcome James Shaw and the Greens as they have entered government and taken the key roles in climate-related portfolios! This means that a time of serious intent and activity lies ahead for community-based climate action groups. James, as minister for climate change, will need every ounce of support the grass roots can give him. He will have to counter simple-minded solutions to complex problems, such as that of how we move around. Electric cars don’t alter the priorities for more roads or encourage people to take public transport.

He will have to persuade the economists to look to the long term. We know there’s no future in oil exploration or coal mines on the West Coast. He will have to come up with alternatives to how we power long-haul trucks (or avoid using them), and jobs for West Coast workers.

He will be lobbying hard for wise investment to change the way we use the land. This will be difficult because it means altering a fundamental tenet of how we as a country have fed ourselves and earned our living. But increasing horticulture will provide a more secure future than continuing to raise animals for dairy or meat - as will restoring marginal land.

We will have to work within our communities to provide the huge backup James will need as he seeks to make deep systemic changes to our economy and to our priorities. Otherwise so much of what we take for granted will not be there for our children.
A letter from Dunedin
The way is never simple or straight forward – as a project in Dunedin illustrates. Ralph Adler has been working to persuade the local and regional councils to help the more than 30 schools which burn coal for their heating, to move to using wood waste as a fuel. The issue has been passed from one bureaucracy to another with the last straw being a suggestion that it is a matter for central government. Ralph is not giving in. He is meeting with the Dunedin council’s finance team leader and its CEO. His account of this project, and of his investigations into Enviroschool’s Green-Gold awards can be found on our website.
Cars on wharf at Port of Auckland
Low Carbon Pathways
Also on the website is a report on a recent seminar in Auckland, called Climate Protection: Low Carbon Pathways. If you’re an Aucklander, feel encouraged that despite the traffic congestion and the diesel-powered construction work, the council has one small finger on the low carbon pulse. Believe it or not, the huge project tunnelling for an underground railway, is claimed to be carbon-zero.
Image of Climate Declaration Launch
The 21-Day Challenge
Lucette Hindin reports from Christchurch that Project Lyttelton is currently underway. It consists of a "21 Day Challenge" in which people in the community (and especially the primary school kids and their families) take on a challenge to change one behaviour in the areas of waste, food, environment or wellbeing. Psychology tells us, she says, that it takes 21 days to change or create a habit.
That’s not so long in a lifetime and in terms of the era we’re entering, it’s a mere blink.

The Team
Our Climate Declaration

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