Newsletter February 2024

Kia ora katoa! Ngā mihi nui 
mō enei rā mahana rawa!

We decided to open this year’s webinar series by re-programming last year’s “The Behavioural Crisis Driving Ecological Overshoot” the recording of which had failed. Please join us on March 6 with your questions and comments.

Register for WEBINAR: The Behavioural Crisis Driving Ecological Overshoot (2nd Presentation)

Date: 6th March, 2023
Time: 7 to 8:30 PM


Background Reading:
The Behavioural Crisis Driving Ecological Overshoot

Joseph J. Merz is the Co-founder of a number of organisations. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Merz Institute - a research institute largely focused on addressing ecological overshoot at a behavioural level. Joseph serves on the Executive Committee of the Stable Planet Alliance, and is also a Senior Fellow of the Global EverGreening Alliance.

Portrait photo of Joseph J. Merz

Mat Maroni is Strategic Lead at Merz Institute's Overshoot Behaviour Lab. His primary role is Chief Strategy Officer Asia Pacific for one of the largest global advertising networks. He has been at the forefront of communication strategy across Europe and Asia Pacific for the last 20 years, advising brands both within agencies and directly as consultant. Across this time he has delivered globally recognised, multi-award winning campaigns and authored for a range of industry media and the World Advertising Research Center.

Portrait photo of Mat Maroni

Nandita Bajaj is the Executive Director of the Population Balance, a US nonprofit that works to inspire behavioural and system change towards a smaller human footprint that embraces planetary boundaries. She is an adjunct lecturer at the Institute for Humane Education at Antioch University, where she teaches about the combined impacts of pronatalism and human expansionism on reproductive, ecological, and intergenerational justice. In addition to a number of peer-reviewed papers and forthcoming book chapters, her work has appeared in major news outlets including Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Newsweek, Ms. Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and National Post.

Portrait photo of Nandita Bajaj

This Webinar is co-sponsored by:

Wise Response logo

Our Climate Declaration logo

Degrowth Aotearoa New Zealand logo

Engineers for Social Responsibility logo

Let the Minister know!

The team at OCD have carried out our promise. We’ve written to the Minister of Climate Change, the Hon Simon Watts, to protest his government’s overriding of the albeit minimum efforts which had put us on a track towards carbon zero by 2050.

Please follow up with a simple endorsement of OCD’s letter (below) or write your own making whatever use of our words is appropriate. Send it to [email protected].

The Hon Simon Watts
Minister for Climate Change

February 9, 2024

Dear Minister Watts,

We write to you as the coordinating committee of Our Climate Declaration, a national climate organization with a membership of 1700. We are a well-informed body of concerned citizens, academics and scientists some of whom have roles on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The most recent information from this organization gives an urgent warning of the future that awaits us and which an international scientific consensus endorses.

The current actions of your government fly in the face of this international evidence. They also destroy the framework for change established by your predecessor, James Shaw, and the Labour government. They make a mockery of the Climate Emergency, the Zero Carbon bill and of the establishment of the Climate Change Commission as a local source of information and expertise.

Your government’s actions will perpetuate Aotearoa New Zealand’s standing in the international community as a country whose contribution to the cause of global heating is amongst the highest per capita. The policies recently introduced will allow us to continue our complacent lifestyles, believing that our geography will likely exclude us from the worst disruptions suffered by many other parts of the world.

We believe this is a false premise based on denial of the scientific reality – and of the socio-political reality that will ensue from resource depletion and food insecurity as climate changes increase.

We therefore request that you, as minister, work to restore some credibility to our government by formulating a process which will ensure we reach carbon zero by 2050.

This will involve:

  • Not allowing permits for offshore exploration for fossil fuels
  • Initiating a process of reducing our dependence on oil and gas
  • Providing economically-stressed families with alternatives to petrol cars for transport, including creating pools of EVs and E-bicycles for lease
  • Improving electric public transport within cities and towns and for long distance journeys
  • Recognising that our long term security depends on the health of our environment. This will entail protecting vulnerable ecologies and supporting sustainable land use practices to ensure drinking water is safe.
  • Such measures will also ensure we reduce our carbon emissions.

Climate Change has become a domestic catch-word with up to 80% of respondents in a recent survey expressing concern. Why is this situation not reflected in Government circles? People respond to leadership in times of uncertainty. Your government has an opportunity and you, as Minister, have a key role in providing information and support.

We urge you to use your position and your knowledge to influence Government to look to the long term. As we have seen, livelihoods are at risk in this changing climate.

With best wishes for your work,
Our Climate Declaration coordinating committee
Joanna Santa Barbara, Torfrida Wainwright, Paul Bruce, Jack Santa Barbara, Molly Melhuish, Gareth Jones, Pat Baskett, Robin Treadwell

Your donation will help us to continue our work for a world that is safe for humanity.

Donate to Our Climate Declaration general fund:
Kiwibank # 38 9018 0711725 00

Donate to the Jeanette Fitzsimons Climate Action Grants fund:
Kiwibank # 38 9018 0711725 01

Our number as a registered charity is: CC60027

Please let us know when you make a donation - Contact us or email [email protected]

Thank you. Your donation will be wisely spent.