This is urgent. We have under 2 weeks to stop the Minerals Forum in Dunedin, a conference promoting the expansion of the coal industry in Aotearoa.
At this point in the climate crisis, we cannot afford to further the interests of the coal industry. We must cut ties with this polluting industry and throw our full weight behind a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all. Join us to stop the Minerals Forum from going ahead!
When our cities host such events, they support the social license of the coal industry. At the Minerals Forum, the coal industry will promote the expansion of our largest coal mine, Stockton, and the exploration for more underground coal deposits on the West Coast. All the while, there is no mention of a just transition for workers into sustainable, long-term jobs. As for the climate crisis, it is posed as an economic hurdle for the coal industry to “adapt without compromising their business nor the coal industry”.
Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull has a reputation as one of New Zealand’s most progressive mayors on climate change matters. He has consistently taken a stand against the fossil fuel industry until now.
- In 2015, he led Dunedin City Council to be the first city council in Aotearoa to implement a socially responsible investment policy and divest $1.4 million from coal, oil, and gas.
- In 2017, as President of LGNZ (Local Government New Zealand), he was the first signatory on the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration.
- That same year he voted along with the majority of his councillors to support a moratorium on oil and gas exploration.
We have just 11 days to urge Mayor Dave Cull to stand by his climate leadership and reject hosting the Minerals Forum in a council venue. There is no place for a coal-sponsored conference in the buildings of a city council that has divested from fossil fuels.
The statement of intent between Dunedin City Council and the venue operators, Dunedin Venues states the business should “exhibit a sense of social and environmental responsibility by having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates.” It’s obvious hosting a conference which promotes the expansion of the coal industry is at odds with this statement. Call on Mayor Dave Cull to strengthen the venue hiring policy to rule out the fossil fuel and mining industries from using the city’s publicly-owned venues.
Last year, hundreds of us linked arms in peaceful resistance to the Petroleum Summit in Wellington. Only three weeks later the government announced an end to offshore oil and gas permits. In the following months, our local 350 Wellington group set out on a campaign to have the summit banned from council-owned venues. Then just last week, the Petroleum Summit opted to take its business underground, keeping the date and venue of the next Petroleum Summit a secret.
Our presence makes an impact. When we come together to take action, we raise the moral question of whether our cities and institutions should associate with the industry most responsible for the ecological collapse. We must hold these industries to account. We must continue to erode the social licence of the fossil fuel industry because, without it, they can’t keep doing business digging and burning coal.
Together we can stop the fossil fuel industry from being able to promote this out of date agenda. Together we can shut the Minerals Forum down.
Let’s do this!
Claudia and the 350 Aotearoa team
P.S. If you can make it to Dunedin, there are two events to get involved with.
1) A coalition of local activists is planning the resistance to Stop the Minerals Forum from going ahead altogether.
2) Coal Action Network Aotearoa is hosting a Coal in Aotearoa discussion day in Dunedin on Sunday 26th.