Launch of Our Climate Declaration – Climate Declaration

By   /   June 16, 2017  /   1 Comment

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.

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1 Comment

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    OUR CITIZENS ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY CENTRE RECOMMENDS DR BARBARA SUPPORT OUR NGO LONG STANDING CALL FOR GOVERNMENT TO WIND BACK THE UNCHECKED 8% ANNUAL INCREASE OF EXPANSION OF TRUCK FREIGHT.

    AND INSTEAD RESTORE RAIL FREIGHT AS OUR MAIN MOVER OF SHIFTING FREIGHT IN A MUCH LOWER ENVIRONMENTAL CARBON FOOTPRINT ON OUR CARBON EMISSIONS.

    SEE THIS ARTICLE BELOW WE PRINTED IN THE PRESS TWO YEARS AGO AND ADOPT A LOW FREIGHT POLICY USING RAIL RATHER THAN TRUCK BASED FREIGHT.

    In response to Talking Point: “Rail service viable and essential” featured in Hawke’s Bay Today, October 20, 2015) by Alan Dick, QSM.

    The Environment Centre has received more than 2000 letters and petitions from residents from Napier to Gisborne fed up with 24/7 heavy truck traffic waking them all hours and poisoning the air with diesel smells.

    People complain of overwhelming exhaust smells and heavy soot covering their homes since the rail service stopped three years ago.

    Our centre believes the environmental impacts being felt must be taken into account when considering the saving of the Gisborne/Napier rail. It is vital for the public health and well-being of our communities and future generations to retain the rail link.

    How safe is the air that we breathe?

    The two pollutants which give most cause for concern are the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5). Earlier this year, the UK’s highest court ruled the Government must take action to cut NO2 pollution.

    The UK has been in breach of EU limits for nitrogen dioxide so it (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) published a consultation on draft plans to improve air quality.

    This problem is now occurring in our cities and towns along heavy freight truck routes and rail is recognised as the answer for movement of freight and passengers.

    Governments knew this 16 years ago when they conducted a study of rail versus road freight emissions, so why has the treasury advised we close all regional rail in New Zealand?

    Evidence: the New Zealand Government in 1999 produced an “Impacts of Rail Transport on Local Air Quality” report.

    Related articles:
    The MoT Fuels and Energy Management group report shows how fuel-efficient and low-pollution rail transport really is. # 363.73926 RAI # 4037.

    The report confirmed that rail freight per tonne per kilometre travelled had extremely low NOx levels compared with trucking’s freight per tonne per km higher levels (four times) of all harmful pollution emissions.

    Quote from page 34 of “Impacts of Rail Transport on Local Air Quality” report: 5.5: Locomotive Emissions; Opportunities for Reduction.

    “Based on these inventory results, there does not appear to be a specific need to target the emissions from the rail sector in managing local air quality.

    The only emission of any significance from locomotives is of NOx but the output relative to other combustion sources is still minimal in terms of total activity measures.”

    Why the Government needs to support rail for public urban residential health & safety:

    -Evidence of much higher diesel air emissions emerging, thanks to the Volkswagen diesel scandal.

    -Doubts are emerging about our urban air quality, public health and safety and emissions of truck freight 24/7 through our urban residential zones as New Zealand has set no standards.

    -Since the VW diesel scandal, similar diesel truck emissions cheating was uncovered.

    -No safeguards for communities near truck routes.

    -We need the protection of public health agencies along with MoT oversight.

    Government, please heed our call for the reinstatement of provincial rail services, to protect the health and well-being of all our regional communities, as overseas governments are doing.