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Big Send Off for Youth Cycling to Climate Summit

Big Send Off for Youth Cycling to Climate Summit

Hundreds of people gathered in Wellington this morning (Thursday 22nd November) and gave a rousing farewell to a group of young people who are cycling the length of New Zealand to attend a major youth climate conference.

The cyclists are heading to Power Shift, a New Zealand and Pacific climate summit being held in Auckland from the 7th – 9th December. Five of them left Dunedin on their bikes last Friday (16th November) to begin a 1300 kilometres, unsupported cycle ride to New Zealand’s biggest city.

The group’s ranks doubled today, when five Wellington cyclists joined the journey. Numbers are expected to swell further as the group travels up the North Island.

Among the supporters who turned out to today’s send-off was Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, a committed cyclist who regularly uses her bike around the city. The event also attracted other young people who will be attending Power Shift in December, friends, families and supporters.

A bike mob wearing orange – the official Power Shift colour – accompanied the cyclists along the waterfront, with some staying with the group all the way up the Kapiti coast.

Otago University student Lindsey Horne says her decision to bike to Power Shift was fuelled by a desire to reduce individual carbon emissions in a fun and visible way.

“Cycling is an action that we can take today to address what is essentially the defining issue of our generation. Having cycled for 10 days already through New Zealand’s beautiful landscape we can see how much there is to lose if climate change isn’t addressed.”

The team attracted a lot of attention during its trip up the South Island and the second half of its journey is expected to be similarly popular. Members of the group are also regularly checking in with their supporters via their Facebook page.

They group is ploughing its way through eight kilograms of peanut butter and plans to arrive in Auckland in 13 days’ time.

Power Shift, from the 7th – 9th December, is a weekend of workshops, high profile speakers and the launch of a major climate campaign being run by 350 Aotearoa and Generation Zero. It is modelled on similar climate summits already held in Australia, Canada and the United States.


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