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Climate organisations commend Crown Research Institute

Climate action organisations 350 Aotearoa and Coal Action Network Aotearoa commend New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes’ phase-out of coal burning in their operations, with the final two users, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research decommissioning their coal boiler at the Lincoln Science Centre Campus. The boiler formerly burnt over 200,000 kilograms of coal per year, and is being replaced with electric heating.

“The Institutes’ decision to stop using coal for heating is a direct result of internal pressure from Crown Research Institute staff, as well as citizen-led campaigns by Coal Action Network Aotearoa, 350 Aotearoa, Fossil Free Aoraki and Extinction Rebellion,” said 350 Aotearoa spokesperson Claudia Palmer. “In the midst of a climate crisis no organisation - least of all a Government-owned science institute - should be burning coal.”

Coal Action Network Aotearoa spokesperson Tim Jones said “It is great news that Crown Research Institutes have decided to stop using carbon-intensive coal that is contributing to the climate crisis and keeping the coal industry afloat. Coal is a dirty, climate-destroying fuel, and we must not mine or burn any more of it. The Government needs to lead the way by making all public institutions coal-free and fossil fuel-free.”

Palmer said “Stopping burning coal in our research institutes must be the first step of many for this government to reduce New Zealand’s fossil fuel use. 350 Aotearoa supports the Government’s announcement today to invest $200 million to move the public sector estate onto clean, renewable energy. However, it is also vital that Government-owned funds such as ACC and NZ Super Fund live up to climate principles - these public funds must stop investing in fossil fuel companies and reinvest in industries that provide solutions to transitioning to a zero-carbon society.”

“There’s no time to waste,” said Tim Jones. “In 2020, we’ll be keeping the pressure on for the Government to withdraw all of its support - both institutional and financial - for the coal industry.”

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