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Students Label Auckland Council "Climate Criminals

Students Label Auckland Council "Climate Criminals"

Student activists Greens on Campus will assemble at 5 pm tonight on Queen Street outside an Auckland City Council meeting to protest the council's recent decision to delete goals for preventing climate change from their plans and cut funding for sustainable transport projects.

Bearing two banners saying "Auckland Council - 2008 - Climate Criminals" and "Auckland City - 2050 - Going Under", the students will stage mock meetings of the council of 2008, dressed in suits, and the council of 2050, dressed in togs, snorkels, and flippers.  First item on the agenda for 2050? Flooding in low-lying areas of Auckland caused by sea-level rise and extreme storms.

But underlying their humorous antics, the students have a serious message. Ruby Haazen, Greens on Campus co-leader, said "By refusing to take climate change seriously, the council is endangering the future of our city."

Elliot Blade, the other co-leader, said, "This decision is really a giant leap backwards for the council. It has been forced through by a few misguided Citizens and Ratepayers councillors, despite public opposition.

Keith Locke, Green MP for Epsom, plans to attend the protest and said, "I'm glad to see these students taking action, as the council's position on climate change is disturbing." Opposition councillors from City Vision/Labour also plan to attend. City Vision councillor, Glenda Frey said the Citizens and Ratepayers decision was "shameful."

Since January 2008 Citizens and Ratepayers on the council have:

Ø       deleted all goals related to preventing climate change from the objectives of the Council's Chief Executive

Ø       put on hold the appointment of an Eco Advisor to green the council

Ø       deleted $28 million funding for a transport project called "Liveable Streets" aimed at making Auckland's streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists


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