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Coal Again Stopped In Its Tracks, One Year On

One year after stopping KiwiRail’s coal train at Dunedin Railway Station, Extinction Rebellion Ōtepoti & Ōtautahi land protectors have today again stopped coal in its tracks, this time by climbing onto a coal cart before it leaves Dunedin.

KiwiRail carries 500 tonnes of low grade thermal coal daily from Bathurst Resources’ mine in Nightcaps, Southland to Fonterra’s Clandeboye factory near Temuka, Canterbury to turn milk into powder for export.

“We’re here today to once again focus on KiwiRail’s role in supporting Fonterra’s place as New Zealand’s worst polluter,” said Extinction Rebellion’s Jack Brazil.

“In the past year we’ve had numerous meetings, signed petitions, written letters and listened to one excuse after another from Fonterra, Politicians & Industry executives to not only keep burning coal but to expand production further.”

“Meanwhile this past year has seen more record-breaking weather extremes. Another intense marine heatwave is likely to devastate our marine ecosystem this summer. The Climate Emergency is Now. Burning coal in 2021 is a climate crime and Fonterra is New Zealand’s Number One Climate Criminal.”

“At COP26 the UN Secretary General said our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink” said James Cockle from the top of one of KiwiRail’s 30 coal carriages near the Dunedin Railway Station.

“Yet our Climate Change Minister continues to pander to industry who are only interested in preserving profit margins. Bathurst CEO Richard Tacon says he’ll keep digging up coal as long as Fonterra wants it. And Fonterra won’t stop burning coal until 2037, a timeline the government has adopted.

“It’s going to be up to ordinary people to stop them.

“We’re not alone. Brave land protectors around the world are putting themselves in the way of the biggest polluters, for all our sakes. If you care about this world and all the creatures that live here, human or otherwise, now is the time to join us.”

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