Earth protectors disrupt “Taranaki climate criminals”

“The business operations happening at Kapuni, in South Taranaki, can best be described as a climate crime scene” says Emily Bailey, a member of Climate Justice Taranaki.

Climate protectors disrupted activities at drilling company Todd Energy, chemical fertiliser manufacturer Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Fonterra in southern Taranaki today to make it clear that the time for real climate action is now.

“We strongly 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. Until this happens there is little incentive for a true transition away from fossil fuels, as can be seen in some proposals to use gas to make hydrogen power. All renewable energy sources must be completely free of fossil fuels.”

“We also want everyone to see the massive dependence of this country’s industrial dairy farming on fossil fuels for fertiliser, machinery, transport, processing and packaging. The government announced today that the new Zero Carbon Act will split agricultural emissions from fossil fuel emissions and only demand a 10% gross reduction on 2017 methane levels by 2030. We say this is not good enough.”

“We have to stop measuring methane on a 100 year scale and think ten years which is what we have left to stop this runaway climate crisis. On a ten year scale methane is about twenty times worse than carbon dioxide.”

“Fonterra exports 95% of its product, farms are billions of dollars in debt and the next generation of farmers are not coming through due to the current poor job conditions. We need triple-bottom-line sustainable farming now. Industrial farming needs to end.”

“Methane and other emissions from farming make up half of our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Our soils are depleting, our rivers are dying and the polar ice is melting. Millions of people are being starved, threatened and forced off their lands because the world is not standing up to climate criminals who put their profit before our planet. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it very clear: we only have about ten years left to halt this climate crisis.”

“We chose Kapuni because it is the oldest producing gas field in New Zealand and where Taranaki’s oil and gas infrastructure began. Since gas discovery in 1959, Kapuni has been scarred by decades of well drilling, fracking, flaring, well work-overs and waste injection. Thousands of tonnes of soil have been contaminated and groundwater irreparably affected. The groundwater under the Ballance urea plant itself has had elevated nitrate levels and multiple ammonia plumes for the last 34 years.”

“Kapuni remains one of the most economically deprived area in Taranaki, despite the industry promising wealth and jobs to the locals.”

“The so-called Just Transition Summit starts tomorrow in New Plymouth and its transition plans are to be rolled around the country in coming years. We need to make it loud and clear: we want justice for hapū and iwi, justice for workers and the wider community and a stable climate for future generations.

The atmosphere is being destroyed for the short-term financial benefit of a handful of greedy corporations and individuals, at the expense of everyone else on this planet. We don’t need old ‘Think Big’ projects, we need to ‘Think Bigger’ and connect the dots between this country’s fossil fuel industry, synthetic urea, our failing industrial farming model and the current climate crisis. All new petroleum permits must be halted and industrial farming needs to go” concludes Emily Bailey.

Source: Climate Justice Taranaki Media Release

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