This year on Earth Day, 22nd of April, 350 Aotearoa on behalf of the Fossil Free State Sector Coalition (FFSSC) submitted a petition to Parliament to ban the installation of new fossil fuel boilers in the state sector.
The petition was handed to Green Party MP Jan Logie (Spokesperson for State Services) and Hon James Shaw (Minister for Climate Change), with over 19,000 signatures.
Today we are providing this submission to support our petition. This document submission draws attention to the pressing issue of state sector decarbonisation and outlines the research that underpins the Fossil Free State Sector Coalitions demands to ban new fossil fuel boiler installations in the schools, hospitals, correctional facilities and the wider state sector.
This submissions commends that first step towards action in decarbonisation is the banning of all new installations of fossil fuel boilers. It is important that the government takes the lead in this area, as it will set an example for other sectors.
Together with communities across Aotearoa we have made a strong argument that fossil fuels have no place in the boilers that warm our schools, hospitals, prisons and other public institutions that serve some of our most vulnerable people.
Our government needs to prioritise state sector decarbonisation to lower our overall carbon emissions, improve the quality of the air we breathe and send a clear message that the days of burning dirty fossil fuels are over. Burning coal, oil, and gas for heating is a major risk to the health of our communities and our climate.
Health professionals tell us that air pollution in Aotearoa causes over 1,200 premature deaths per year, and a significant proportion of this is derived from fossil fuel burning, as well as its contribution to hospitalisations from asthma and respiratory infections. The main disease burden of this is borne by children living in lower socioeconomic and marginalised communities.
The FFSSC welcomed the news that all coal boilers in schools would be replaced with renewable alternatives by 2025, however this is only 217 of the 900+ boilers in schools that burn fossil fuels and fails to include gas and diesel boilers or other high consuming institutions,
The window of time in which to reduce our carbon emissions and limit the worst impacts of climate change is getting smaller every day. We hope that this submission will help convince our Government to hear your voices and act on these recommendations.
Until the House of Representatives votes to ban new fossil fuel boiler installations in the state sector we continue to build the social licence and public support. Show your support now!
Author: Jasmin Walles