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Declaration Of ‘Symbolic’ Climate Emergency

Does the Government know we are in a climate and ecological emergency, our house is on fire, and we are heading for a catastrophe? Today the government signalled that next week in parliament they intend to pass a climate emergency motion. The motion is a symbolic gesture at best, that lacks real action and substance.

Caril Cowan, a spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa, says ‘’a symbolic climate emergency motion is an utterly inadequate response to the climate and ecological crisis.”

And that “the science is clear. We must urgently reduce emissions now. We need to limit emissions from agriculture and transport. We must stop coal mining and urgently transition to regenerative agriculture and renewable energy.”

The government has shown its ability to take on such challenges with COVID-19 and make hard decisions. The government followed the science for Covid-19, and the country is in the privileged situation of living life as normally as possible. New Zealand enjoys one of the lowest restrictions to daily lives, has one of the lowest death rates from the pandemic, and praised by the World Health Organisation for its response to the pandemic.

Caril Cowen emphasises that “if the government made a declaration of a symbolic health emergency for Covid-19, as they are currently proposing, we would have overwhelmed the health system and had serious consequences. If we didn’t act, we wouldn’t have saved countless lives and have the freedoms we do now.”

In the face of Government inaction, Extinction Rebellion members continue to feel morally obliged to continue to take disruptive non-violent actions and shut down businesses that are part of the problem.

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