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The Politics Programme at the University of Otago issues Climate Change declaration

Tuesday 12 November 2019 11:32am

Following discussion at recent staff meetings and participation in the Climate Strike Movement, the Politics Programme unanimously agreed to support the Climate Strike Movement and to issue a declaration on climate change.

Our climate declaration

We, the people of Aotearoa, commit to urgently transforming society to achieve climate stability for future generations. We will create a climate-safe Aotearoa, based on economic fairness, democracy, respect for human rights and the intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, where we live in harmony with Nature and with each other.

We call on all New Zealanders to:

1. Stop the bad stuff

  • Reduce the extraction and burning of fossil fuels to 50% by 2025 and to zero by 2030:
    • Prevent all new and expanded coal mines and coal-burning plants;
    • End deep sea oil exploration and fracking for oil and gas.
  • Stop all non-essential air travel; halve aviation emissions by 2025.
  • Halt the expansion of industrialized, intensive farming.
  • End the unsustainable drive for endless economic growth and consumerism, which drives inequality and resource depletion.

2. Bring on the good:

  • Build clean, renewable alternatives for our electricity, transport, farming and industrial processes;
  • Farm sustainably, reducing stocking rates, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, managing soils better and restoring our rivers;
  • Restore 1.3 million hectares of marginal land to native forest to increase carbon sinks;
  • Increase protection for New Zealand’s biodiversity and wild places;
  • Reduce consumption of transport, energy and materials by sharing resources, growing local food, eating less meat and dairy and creating resilient local economies;
  • Insulate all homes and upgrade energy efficiency;
  • Put in place just transition processes for those whose livelihoods will be affected;
  • Work towards a waste-free, circular economy that creates wellbeing for all citizens and respects Nature’s limits.

3. Pressure government to:

  • Comply with and facilitate the above transformation;
  • Withdraw investment from the fossil fuel industry;
  • Establish a Climate Commission to set a binding carbon budget and develop a plan to meet it;
  • Abide by and strengthen our obligations under the Paris agreement, according to climate science;
  • Prepare for a fair resettlement of climate refugees with guidance from Tangata Whenua.