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Akld Youth to Reclaim Streets for Climate Justice

Media Release: Radical Youth

Auckland Youth to Reclaim the Streets for Climate Justice

As part of International Climate Justice Day on Saturday July 15th, a "Critical Mass" bike ride is planned by Radical Youth to counter our country's current car culture and highlight the need for urgent action on climate change by New Zealand people and the government. This is one of hundreds of actions worldwide calling on citizens and governments to take real action to avert potentially disastrous climate change, as well as showing cycling as a clean, safe alternative to motorized transport.

The New Zealand government has repeatedly backed down over climate change. State-owned enterprise Solid Energy was given permission to build an open-cast coal mine in Happy Valley to extract 5 million tonnes of coal for exportation. If burned, 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide will be discharged into the air, speeding up the process of climate change.

Because of the government's inability to effectively implement the Kyoto protocol, we have emission levels far above our targets. We have an imbalance, which will cost us billions in penalties. Instead of investing in clean energy, the Labour government is allowing dirty opencast coal mines to go ahead in Happy Valley, which is a native wetland located on the West Coast of the South Island. Instead of tackling climate change by creating alternatives to private car ownership, the government is spending billions on new roads just as driving is becoming unaffordable for the average kiwi.

"We are calling on the government to invest in clean alternative transport and energy systems rather than in more motorways and coal mines, and to take real action to cut carbon emissions. We support all direct actions against climate change. We encourage people to join the current occupation to stop the coal mine in Happy Valley, which is organised by the Save Happy Valley Coalition."

"Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing our generation. It is the young people today who will have to deal with problems of rising temperatures globally. Climate change will result in millions of climate refugees and mass species extinction," said John Darroch

Critical Mass is a internationally used tactic in which cyclists create a safe zone for other cyclists through strength of numbers and temporarily gain control of roads normally ruled by cars.

Cyclists will be meeting at Aotea Square at 5pm Saturday July15th for a mass bike around central Auckland.

Radical Youth is a youth organisation working directly for environmental and social justice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

ENDS

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