Taranaki environmental group says Zero Carbon Bill ‘not good enough’

By Jessica Tyson
Students marched to protest the lack of decisive action on climate change. Source: Climate Justice Taranaki, Facebook

Members of Climate Justice Taranaki say the new Zero Carbon Bill revealed to parliament today “is not good enough”.

The bill sets a target of 10 percent reduction in biological methane emissions by 2030 and aims for a provisional reduction ranging from 24 percent to 47 percent by 2050.

A spokesperson for Climate Justice Taranaki says it sounds good in theory but net zero carbon by 2050 is “too far in the future”.

“The proposed target of a 10 percent gross reduction on 2017 levels by 2030 and a provisional target of between 24 and 47 per cent in gross reductions by 2050 is just absolutely disappointing," the group announced on their Facebook page.

“This is an emergency and that is not how you respond to an emergency.”

Protests in Taranaki

Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey says members are protesting today at three companies in Kapuni, South Taranaki.  The companies are Todd, Ballance and Fonterra.

She says members are protesting for two reasons.

The first is to object to the new oil and gas block offers announced last week.

“All new permits must be halted until the climate crisis is averted.  It is completely irresponsible to keep extracting more and more fossil fuels,” she said in a statement to Te Ao.

Members are also protesting to raise awareness of the dependence of intensive dairy farming on fossil fuels for fertiliser, machinery, transport, processing and packaging.

"As we urgently try to create a pathway to a zero-carbon economy, big business and government plan to pretend intensive dairy farming is barely linked to the fossil fuel industry and give them special treatment once again,” says Bailey.

Minister for Climate Change James Shaw says agriculture is incredibly important to New Zealand, but it also needs to be part of the solution. 

“That is why we have listened to the science and also heard the industry and created a specific target for biogenic methane."

Bailey says Kapuni has the necessary ingredients for a climate crisis, “The oil and gas industry, the urea plant and lactose processing plant side-by-side in the midst of intensive dairy land.

“Fonterra's gas-powered Whareroa dairy factory and the massive Kupe oil and gas plant are also just down the road."

A Fonterra spokesperson confirmed representatives of Climate Justice Taranaki peacefully protested outside their Kapuni site earlier today.

"We respect the right of everyone to have their say and express an opinion. Tackling climate change is a critical issue for all New Zealanders and Fonterra is committed to doing our part to help New Zealand meet its international climate commitments," says the spokesperson.

Te Ao has also approached Todd and Ballance for comment.

More to come.