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Climate Justice Taranaki Celebrates 10 Years With Next 10 Year Downshift Plan

"When we started Climate Justice Taranaki 10 years ago, we were sitting at 390 parts per million of atmospheric CO2. Since then, countless permits and resource consents have been handed out by Taranaki councils and the Environmental Protection Authority to oil and gas companies, to drill, frack and contaminate our land, water and sea. Industrial agriculture has been allowed to expand by the continuous use of synthetic fertilisers, imported feeds, land conversion and irrigation in regions that are most vulnerable. Atmospheric CO2 has now risen to almost 413 ppm and is still rising. The time to turn things around is well and truly running out" laments co-founder of Climate Justice Taranaki, Emily Bailey.

"Our very first media release in December 2010 was about the Waitangi Tribunal's 796 Report on the Management of the Petroleum Resource which found that the Crown breached the rights and protection of tangata whenua promised in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Back then we said 'We will not watch silently as Papatūānuku and Ranginui are threatened by profit-driven companies for the benefit of the rich. Instead, we are organising a movement here in Taranaki to confront and stop the rampant mining, and stand in solidarity with people across the world who are resisting at the front lines of climate change' and that we did."

"We are proud of what we have achieved so far, working together with tangata whenua, community groups and others who care to make change, notably:

  • a raised awareness in our community about the urgency to act on climate change,
  • bringing in resource consent requirements for fracking,
  • a successful national blockade of the Petroleum Summit in New Plymouth in 2017 leading to,
  • an end to new drilling permits offshore and onshore outside of Taranaki in 2018,
  • the departure of oil companies including Shell, TAG Oil, Apache, Anadarko, AWE, Petrobras, Statoil and Tamarind, and
  • raised awareness of the need to stop synthetic fertilisers and shift to regenerative agriculture and local markets."

"While we have made some gains over the years, our group's mission is far from accomplished and we will be releasing a plan next month for a Downshift in fossil fuel use over the next ten years" says Bailey. "Our present ecological problems arise from economic models which plunder our planet and exploit our people. It is only through brave political and systematic economic change that we can get ourselves out of this mess. For too long the buck has been passed down to next generations to deal with the hard changes we must make so that politicians and management can protect their social positions and personal pay packages. If we're serious about halting runaway climate chaos and not having more years like this one, we have to seriously stop wasting finite resources and downsize our lifestyles. That means big changes like banning combustion engine vehicle imports and heavily taxing international shipping and flights."

"Climate Justice Taranaki will continue our work in influencing government policies, highlighting important issues through public meetings, protests, blockades and community organising. We send a message of love and solidarity to all our supporters across the region and the iwi, hapū, unions and community groups up and down the country who also continue to fight for a better future for coming generations each and every day" concludes Bailey.

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