Climate Change Minister Leaves EDS Conference, Climate Activists Claim Win – School Strike 4 Climate Otautahi


A group of young activists from School Strike for Climate and Climate Liberation Aotearoa cut Simon Watts’ speech short today at the Environmental Defense Society conference at Te Pae with chants and banners opposing new oil and gas exploration.

“Simon Watts was standing there spreading greenwashed lies while his government wages a violent war on Papatūānuku! We refuse to stand by while the government is pushing through with the Fast Track Bill and has just approved new oil and gas exploration licenses. Simon knows damn well that we cannot afford to burn more fossil fuels, but he’s only in it for the money. He needs to either stand up and fight for our futures or resign.”, said activist Lucia Campbell-Reeves.

The protestors interrupted Watts’ speech on climate policy with a series of cutting questions, but Watts left the conference immediately, to loud chanting from the crowd.

“Minister Watts, I have to ask you – with your government’s policies of the fast-track bill, reversing the oil drilling ban, putting ETS profit into tax cuts, scrapping He Waka Eke Noa partnership, the clean car discount, and cutting public transport subsidies – as climate change minister do you feel like a complete failure, or is your objective actually to maximise global heating and climate disruption?” asked activist Joseph Bray, to no response.

“It was a move of extreme cowardice”, reflected Joseph. “By refusing to hear out the young people terrified for their future under National, he’s saying loud and clear that he doesn’t care about the climate or the people that will be killed by storms caused by the emissions increases his government supports.”

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SS4C and CLA stand united against the Fast Track Bill and new oil and gas exploration.



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