Coal for Christmas for Naughty Climate Change Minister
21 December 2011
A group of young New Zealanders today delivered a Christmas present to Climate Change Minister Tim Groser: a Christmas stocking filled with coal.
The group delivered the gift to Mr Groser’s parliamentary office at 1pm, along with a card containing a personal message. They then sang a few ‘climate carols’, including ‘Burn Some Coal’ (to the tune of ‘Let It Snow’) and ‘(I’m Dreaming of a) Nice Climate’.
The group was representing Generation Zero – a youth-led organisation that wants to see New Zealand taking strong action on climate change to deliver intergenerational justice. Generation Zero is dismayed at reports of the obstructive role New Zealand played at the recent United Nations climate summit in Durban.
As Minister Responsible for International Climate Change Negotiations, Mr Groser was New Zealand's lead representative at the talks.
“Tradition dictates that children who misbehave should receive a lump of coal at Christmas time,” said Generation Zero spokesperson Chelsea Robinson. “Well from what we hear, Tim was a very naughty boy in Durban, so we thought a full stocking was in order.”
New Zealand was one of a small number of countries widely reported to be holding back progress in Durban. This was demonstrated by New Zealand receiving four ‘Fossil of the Day’ awards throughout the summit: two first places, a second place and a third place.
Fossil of the Day awards are presented by the Climate Action Network (CAN), a worldwide network of roughly 700 non-governmental organizations. Members of CAN vote for countries “judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations” in the past day.
Four is the most ‘Fossils’ that New Zealand has received at any of the UN conferences since the awards began in 1999.
New Zealand was awarded its Fossils for reasons including adopting a “deliberately inconsistent” position on extension of the Kyoto Protocol, attempting to “water down the integrity of market mechanisms” for reducing emissions, and “wanting to benefit from a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol without being bound by it.”
“With the dismal outcome in Durban delaying serious action to 2020, Tim is certainly not the only one who was naughty,” said Miss Robinson. “But we are ashamed to hear about the role our country apparently played. These obstructions and hard-line stances add up to lower the overall ambition at the talks.”
“For the sake of our future, we urgently need our Government to be raising the stakes, not lowering them.”
“We'd really like to be able to deliver a nicer present to Tim next Christmas, so we'll be there throughout this year pushing him and the Government to be good, for goodness' sake.”
For more information on New Zealand’s role
Press releases on the Fossil of the Day awards: http://www.climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day
Article from TV3 news: http://www.3news.co.nz/NZ-Govt-exceptionally-irresponsible-at-UN-Climate-talks/tabid/1160/articleID/237227/Default.aspx
For more information about Generation Zero: http://generationzero.org.nz