Protestors descended on Parliament this morning, and constructed solar panels, windmills, and bicycle-powered smoothie machines on Parliament lawn. They are calling on the incoming government’s election negotiations to prioritise ‘powering up’ just solutions that will cut emissions and address the cost of living – from community energy projects, to a Ministry of Green Works, to investment in public transport.
350 Aotearoa campaigner Adam Currie says, “Today we brought solar panels, bikes and buses to Parliament’s lawn – the community-based climate solutions that the incoming government’s election negotiations need to fund in their first 100 days. Every dollar invested in clean energy and public transport creates jobs and provides $5 of economic benefit to New Zealand – far more than oil drilling or costly roads. National and Act need to be prepared for fierce resistance from a mobilised climate movement who will fight tooth and nail to protect climate policies such as the Zero Carbon Act and the ban on offshore oil drilling. Any backtracking on co-governance is also a threat to the climate; Māori communities possess key climate solutions and have been living in harmony with Te Taaio for centuries.”
ActionStation’s India Logan-Riley (Ngāti Kahungunu) says, “People in Aotearoa know climate change is well and truly here. Any roll back of climate action would be a slap in the face to those from the East Coast or Tāmaki Makaurau who are still putting their lives back together after the floods earlier this year. Most of us want to see climate action to go further in ambition and delivery without being captured by corporate profit in public private partnerships. We need good quality jobs for people to build quality, low-pollution infrastructure like passenger rail and higher density, warm housing. This will help lock in a safer climate future and create healthier and happier lives for our communities.”
Oxfam Aotearoa Climate Justice Lead, Nick Henry, says, “We are deeply concerned that National and ACT have pledged to reopen offshore exploration of oil and gas, and will be urging them to reconsider. Reopening offshore exploration would be a betrayal of the Pacific at a time when Pacific leaders are calling for an end to fossil fuels. We urgently need a fast and just transition to renewable energy for communities in Aotearoa and across the Pacific, as part of a global fossil fuel phase out. Our people deserve a Just Transition, where a managed decline of fossil fuel production is matched with the creation of good jobs in renewable energy, clean industries and social services.”
Stand Up, which represents young union-members across Aotearoa, has joined the action to show the solidarity of workers nationwide. Daniel Benson-Guiu stated: “Young workers are facing the twin crises of a changing climate and a degradation of workers’ rights”. “We know we have solutions in Aotearoa that bring together good work in a range of industries and across Aotearoa while effectively reducing carbon emissions”. “Some of Aotearoa’s largest emitters may be large corporations that employ hundreds of workers – but workers are collectively negotiating solutions that reduce carbon emissions at the individual, collective and industry level”. Young workers are concerned about potential changes to workers’ rights – we will be fighting for workers and for the planet. There are no jobs on a dead planet”.