Our Climate Declaration Logo

Greetings, dear supporters, all 2200 of you,

We have a new logo, as you may have noticed. We had a number of excellent submissions for a logo and selected a design by Kit Hindin of New Media Design in Christchurch. We thought this design conveyed that we are dealing with an urgent global issue, in which we are pushing out dangerous limits, and which requires decisive action. Thank you Kit! And thanks to others who submitted fine designs.

We hope everyone will enjoy using the logo in your work on Our Climate Declaration. Feel free to copy it on to whatever you are doing to promote this work. 

There is a change in wording of one clause of the Declaration. This has been the subject of a good deal of discussion within our group and with expert colleagues. The wording on our Declaration about carbon pricing previously read  Abandon the Emissions Trading Scheme and replace it with a Carbon Tax, with the proceeds distributed to all citizens. Mid-year we had very interesting discussions with economists at Motu, Rod Oram, James Renwick and others. We came to understand that it would be possible to amend the dysfunctional ETS to deal with many, but not all, of its problems. At this point we decided not to change the wording of the Declaration. Jeanette Fitzsimons wrote a blog on the website discussing our somewhat modified position.

With the formation of our current coalition government, the result of discussions between Labour, Greens and NZ First resulted in their opting for an extensively amended ETS. We believe it’s possible to achieve important climate change goals with this instrument if it is framed and implemented well. . We also believe there will not be another opportunity to replace the ETS with a carbon tax so continuing to bang this drum will not be effective. We don’t plan to argue at this time about the instrument, although we’ll keep a close eye on its development and use. The new wording of this clause uses the term ‘ price’ which can refer to either carbon tax or ETS. Here it is:

Establish a legally binding and steadily rising price on all greenhouse gas emissions, sufficient to achieve a major shift to renewable energy and less intensive farming.

The website has been altered accordingly. If you have a stock of the old version, you may want to alter them by hand or to print new ones.

Let us know if you are troubled by this change.

Things you can do

Here are two issues which concern the vision of a climate-safe Aotearoa as outlined in Our Climate Declaration. Although we live all over New Zealand, what happens in one locality affects us all. And advocacy from all over the country has a better chance of showing that, where climate change is concerned, the local is global.

1. Wellington’s trolley buses. Our Declaration says, Build clean renewable alternatives for our electricity, transport, farming and industrial processes. Our analysis identifies transport as a crucial area for emissions reduction, especially public transport. Wellington replaced its 60 electric trolley buses in November with diesel buses from Auckland.  30 battery electric buses are promised over the three year period beginning July 2018. However, while it is positive that there is an intention to introduce electric battery buses, they will not completely replace the trolley buses, with a net increase in carbon emissions expected. The removal of the overhead lines that supported the trolley buses has now begun, with their complete removal over the following year.  There is a strong view, supported by transport advocate and OCD supporter Paul Bruce that Wellington should retain the overhead lines in case there is a need to return to what many consider a superior system.  Overseas experience shows that modern electric trolley buses are still the most cost-effective electric public transport at the present time. It would be very helpful if you would write to or email the mayor and council to encourage retention of the overhead lines in the interests of the speedy development of effective emissions-free transport throughout the country, and especially in its capital.

Mayor and Councillors, Wellington City Council P.O. Box 2199 Wellington 6140

[email protected]

[email protected]

2. New Coal Mine at Te Kuha, Buller Plateau, South Island

Our Declaration says Prevent all new coal mines and coal-burning plants. To quote from 350.org on this issue, ‘The Buller District Council has just granted resource consent for Te Kuha mine, a 109 hectare coal mine on the West Coast. The Department of Conservation has stated that the top 12 hectares of this mine, is “recognised as nationally and internationally unique and for having very high ecological and conservation value.”

At a time when our government is claiming that climate change is our generation's "nuclear-free moment", and has recently said that there will be no new coal mines on conservation land, we cannot allow this mine to go ahead.’ Minister for Conservation and Associate Minister for the EnvironmentEugenie Sage, together with Minister for Energy and Resources, Megan Woods, together have the power to stop Te Kuha mine.

The weight of public pressure is needed to prevent this mine’s development.
Here is the link to the petition to the two ministers. https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/stop-te-kuha-coal-mine

What’s new on our website
Image of truck overloaded with people
Some excellent and informative blogs have recently been added to the website. Jeanette Fitzsimons and others hope to examine sequentially the one hundred top solutions to climate breakdown listed in the book Drawdown, edited by Paul Hawken, analyzing their application to New Zealand. The first of the series is on transport. ‘A very high priority here is transport. It accounts for 40% of our non-farming emissions, and we use it very inefficiently. Drawdown ranks transport solutions relatively lowly because unlike NZ, most countries have vehicle efficiency standards, and lower car use per person.’
Image of people on bikes
Streets of the Future
Pat Baskett follows in this sequence with ‘Streets of the Future’, looking at promising applications in Auckland.
Who’s doing good?
There’s a good deal of activity around the country based on the Declaration – talks and training sessions in Rotorua and Christchurch, market stall in Motueka, work on coal use and car transport in schools in Dunedin. This newsletter is already too long to provide more details.
Who’s stopping bad stuff?
The work to prevent the Te Kuha mine is a major issue and is occupying several Declaration supporters. Both Christchurch and Dunedin supporters have found that the film The Bentley Effect, about activism to stop fracking in Australia, has had an inspiring impact. They recommend using this film.
That’s all for this newsletter, dear friends, but certainly not all that’s going on among supporters of the Declaration.

Best wishes
The Team
Our Climate Declaration

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