People from around the country, weary with waiting for the Government to take the necessary action to address climate change have decided to take matters into their own hands.
They have drafted a Declaration setting out what needs to be done with people signing up to commit to making it happen. This will be done through community climate action plans where organisations investigate their own climate impact and make plans to reduce it. It is within these everyday groups that we are all contributing to climate change and it is within these groups where actions for a safe climate will make a difference.
“We know what has to be done. And it has to be done by people at all levels – citizens, businesses, local councils and government. We are not waiting – the problem is too serious and too urgent – and we are setting out to do it ourselves” said Dr Joanna Santa Barbara, national chair of Our Climate Declaration.
The project will be launched on Sunday 18 June, simultaneously in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. The launches will be video-linked, with each venue receiving some speakers from the others. It will also be live streamed to every device that wants to watch.
“We wanted to demonstrate that you don’t have to fly or drive long distances to connect with others around the country” said Pat Baskett, organiser of the Auckland launch. This is the kind of world we are heading into to reduce our climate impact.”
Help will be available to groups such as schools, churches, small business, sports clubs, service groups, medical practices, unions, farmers, and all places where people collectively use energy and can help protect the climate.
The Declaration is available at www.ourclimatedeclaration.org.nz and can be signed online. There is also advice on speaking to groups about climate change and how to develop local plans, which can be posted by community groups on the website for others to share. Details of the four launches are also available there, and the link for the live stream will be there from Saturday.
Endorsements have come in from Prof James Renwick, climate scientist; Phillip Mills, businessman; Ora Taiao, the NZ Climate and Health council, an organisation of health professionals advocating for healthy climate action; musicians such as Peter Scholes and Sean O’Connor; and celebrities such as Robyn Malcolm, who will all be featured at the launch.
“Eventually, when they see that citizens care enough to take their own action, governments will have to follow” said Santa Barbara.