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Youth: Coal Mining Call Selling New Zealanders Short

Youth: Coal Mining Call Selling New Zealanders Short

Friday 24 May 2013


Youth climate change organisation Generation Zero has slammed the Government's decision to grant Australian coal-mining company Bathurst Resources land-access for coal mining on the Denniston Plateau.

“We're angry that this Government is imperilling our future for a short-term cash injection with no long-term benefit to New Zealanders,” said spokesperson Louis Chambers.

“This is further evidence of a lack of economic vision that is selling New Zealanders short.

“The Government's blind support for fossil fuel industries is a distraction from the real job facing us in the 21st century: building good jobs in a durable low carbon economy.

“The proposed new mine on Denniston would only run for five years, with the profits mainly bolstering Australia's economy and funding even more mining and carbon emissions.

“A clean energy future is 100% possible for New Zealand, and if we were pursuing that we wouldn't need to think about digging up our cherished natural places to generate temporary jobs that damage our climate.

“PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates New Zealand's potential share in the global green economy to be NZ$7.5 – 22 billion annually, while Investment New Zealand says it could be as high as NZ$150 billion by 2025. The Political Economy Research Institute calculates that an investment of US$1 million creates three times more green jobs than fossil fuel jobs.”

Back in 2008, current Conservation Minister Nick Smith said, “There can be no question that the number one environmental issue is pollution from increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the destabilising of the earth’s climate systems.”

In the same speech, Dr Smith criticised the Labour Government for failing to protect New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna, saying, “We have more species, proportionate to population, at risk of extinction than any other country on earth.”

Mr Chambers:

“Generation Zero agrees with the Dr Smith of 2008.

“It's a sad indictment on National's leadership that in the five years since then, while the destructive impacts of climate change have become clearer and clearer, they seem to have buried their heads deeper into the sand.

“Kiwis deserve a long-term strategy for our country. Our Government needs to get real about our future.”


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