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ECan CEO advocates for declaration of climate emergency

ECan CEO advocates for declaration of climate emergency

Environment Canterbury CEO Bill Bayfield has promised to ask ECan councillors to declare a climate emergency at their next meeting on May 16. Bayfield's promise was in response to a theatrical protest held by Extinction Rebellion (XR) Ōtautahi.

When pressed for assurance that it would be on the meeting agenda Bill Bayfield said “16th of May, yes, I can do that... I will do” speaking outside ECan this afternoon [1].

Spokesperson Grace Stainthorpe said “Bayfield’s assurance shows us that ECan is beginning to acknowledge the existential threat of the climate emergency.”

“We need more than promises though. XR will keep pressure on ECan in the coming month and ensure the council acts as the courageous leaders we need” Stainthorpe continued.

During the protest six members of XR Ōtautahi were invited inside to talk with ECan CEO Bill Bayfield, Chair Steve Lowndes, and councillor John Sunckell. This resulted in Bayfield's offer to put declaring a climate emergency onto ECan’s agenda. He later came outside to on request of XR Ōtautahi to confirm this would happen at the next ECan meeting.

Today's action was part of an international week of rebellion that includes 23 events in eight centres across Aotearoa New Zealand.

[1] Video of Bill Bayfield agreeing put declaring an emergency on ECan’s next meeting agenda
ECan Performance review press release
Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa NZ week of rebellion press release

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