Climate Justice in Aotearoa

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  • 7/31/2019 Climate Justice in Aotearoa


  • 7/31/2019 Climate Justice in Aotearoa



    ContentsClimate Change and Climate Jusce. 3

    Climate Injusce; Same problem, unequal eects. 4Some core Climate jusce demands and principles............. 4

    Indigenous Rights and Climate Jusce.................... 5

    Creang Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuels in NZ:.................. 6

    The (False) soluons?....... 8

    Real Soluons... 12

    Resistance and Acon!... 14

    Things to consider.. 15

    Links and resources 16

    This handbook was wrien by Climate Jusce Aotearoa with the help of

    many resources and people. Our special thanks goes to Radical Acon

    Grants for funding the inial print run of this booklet. Links to many of the

    resources used, and to websites with more in-depth informaon on the

    issues discussed can be found at the end of the handbook.

    If you have feedback on this handbook, would like some help linking up

    with people working on climate jusce in your area, wand to hold a cli-

    mate jusce workshop for your group, or just want to say hi, email Jessie

    Dennis [email protected] [email protected].

    This booklet was wrien in Aotearoa. We wish to acknowledge Tangata

    Whenua as kaiaki of these lands.

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
  • 7/31/2019 Climate Justice in Aotearoa


  • 7/31/2019 Climate Justice in Aotearoa



    In New Zealand climate change will bring a

    large increase in extreme weather events

    like ooding, droughts and hurricanes, along

    with sea level rises and higher temperatures.

    These eects in turn will bring health

    problems such as the onset of tropical


    Poorer communies will be hit the hardest

    by the rising cost of food, petrol and even

    water. New Zealand will, however, be

    comparavely beer o compared to other

    countries when it comes to climate change.

    We will feel the harshest eects of climate

    change last, well aer poorer parts of the

    globe have been devastated by them.

    Consequently, climate change will also eect

    New Zealand through immigraon and the

    ow of climate refugees, many of whom

    may choose to come to New Zealand. These

    eects are linked with many quesons of

    jusce, such as:

    How will the poorer areas and groups in New

    Zealand gain access to disaster relief, or to

    adequate heang and medical treatment?

    Will rich countries such as New Zealand face up

    to their ecological debt and appropriately

    accommodate for climate refugees?

    Will the Government be an ally for wars

    resulng from lack of natural resources, or will

    it choose to become more self-sucient, and

    what are the consequences?

    How can we organise and campaign in a waythat not only limits climate change, but will

    prevent the further inequalies that will result

    from it?

    Prevent catastrophic climac


    Confront the structural/root

    causes of emissions.

    Reject false market-orientated


    Promote socially just andecologically sound alternaves

    dened by those who will be


    Democrac ownership and

    control of economy.

    Resource sovereignty

    (energy, food, water, land etc.)

    Leave fossil fuels in the


    Reparaons of ecological debt

    to those who have suered

    from resource exploitaon.

    Protect and defend untouched


    systems from commercialoperaons.

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    First up let's explain no rangaratanga and kanga Maori. The rst can be translated asself-determinaon or sovereignty, the right to live the way you know is best in your own

    territory. Tikanga Maori is the way you live that life, what guiding principles you follow such

    as being a good host, respecng the life essence of everything around you, a deep

    understanding of being connected/responsible to those who have passed on and those

    who follow aer you. When we look at the eects of colonisaon and globalisaon on

    tangata whenua, that's the taking away of that no rangaratanga and kanga Maori, the

    introducon of drugs and polluon, the of resources and (in general) denigraon to the

    lowest, poorest class in society.

    As with other indigenous peoples, climate change will unfairly aect Maori more than

    many others in Aotearoa because many Maori live close to the environment e.g. shing,

    gathering kai and are oen in debt and poor so lack the means of protecon from

    economic crises, natural disasters or new disease outbreaks. Climate jusce for this

    country's indigenous therefore means not just seeing the vulnerability of Maori but

    acknowledging that Maori have a lot of knowledge about how to live sustainably on this

    land and for how our communies can re-organise and support each other. Maori need

    help to regain strength and resilience. If you are Maori nd your whanau, go home, help. If

    you are Tauiwi/Pakeha listen to and act on what Maori need help with and stand insolidarity with them by rebuilding your own sustainable communies so we can resist

    climate polluters and capitalism together.

    -Tuhi-Ao, Climate Jusce Acvist

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    FrackingFracking, the 'unconvenonal' drilling

    method where a toxic mix of chemicals and

    water are pumped underground at high

    pressure to break up the earth in order to

    draw out pockets of natural gas, is set for

    huge expansion. Up unl recently fracking

    only occurred in Taranaki, but permits are

    now set to be consented in other parts of

    the country by the end of the year. Asevidence from overseas mounts up, the

    eects of fracking are becoming clear: water

    contaminaon, seismic acvity, air polluon

    and serious health eects.

    Companies are fracking on the culturally

    important lands of Iwi in Taranaki already,

    and consultaon around the permits in

    other parts of the country for Maori and

    communies has been poor or non-existent.

    And don't let em fool you when they say its

    a clean energy: a recent study suggested CO2

    emissions from fracking are on a par with


    LigniteIt is esmated that there are sucient coalresources in the world to quadruple the

    amount of carbon dioxide in the

    atmosphere from pre-industrial levels.

    5.3 million tonnes of coal were mined in

    New Zealand in 2010, but State Owned coal

    miner Solid Energy and private company

    L&M Lignite plan to mine billions (yes,

    billions) of tonnes of Southland lignite, a

    dirty, brown coal. This proposal alone could

    be responsible for increasing New Zealands

    carbon emissions by 20%.

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    The Southland lignite proposal is for rolling

    opencast mines, on a scale unseen in New

    Zealand. The impacts on health, farm

    animals, water quality, community

    structure, noise levels and landscape would

    all be huge, and thats before we even

    consider the climate impacts. If the 6 billion

    tonnes of economically recoverable lignite in

    Southland are burnt, it will lead to between7 and 8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide


    Dairy farmingAgriculture is New Zealand's biggest

    contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.

    This is due in large part to the on-going

    corporasaon and industrialisaon of the

    diary sector. As small family-owned farms

    are bought out by large industrial dairy

    businesses, more trees are cut down for

    pasture and more emissions are created,

    and more prot is derived from every

    square metre of land.

    TransportThe Government is making more

    motorways and roads and stripping backsustainable and publicly-owned transport

    opons. Not only that, but as transport is

    privased, it becomes more expensive, less

    reliable, less eecve and a less viable

    opon for people on lower incomes. We

    need our transport opons to reect the fact

    that we are heading towards peak oil and a

    necessary transion to less fossil fuel

    dependent lifestyles. Unfortunately, the

    Government's transport plan will lock us into

    high fuel consumpon transport and leavefewer opons for alternaves.

    Deep Sea Oil DrillingWith permits up for grabs around the coasts

    of Aotearoa and the Government markeng

    NZ as the new froner of unconvenonal oil

    (that means harder to get and more

    dangerous), deep sea oil drilling is a big

    climate threat in Aotearoa. Deep sea oil

    contributes to climate change and ignores

    the fact that we are facing peak oil. The

    world is running out of oil and we need to

    transion away from oil dependence rather

    than remaining reliant on it. Deep Seal Oil

    drilling threatens communies, parcularly

    Maori, who live on the coast and rely on itfor their food and livelihoods, ignoring Maori

    customary rights to the Taonga of the


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    Carbon TradingCarbon trading is the main way in which

    industrialised Governments are choosing to

    show that they are acng to stop climate

    change. Unfortunately it amounts to a

    juscaon for business to connue asusual, and in fact expand; its furthering

    inequalies and its distracng from real


    In Emissions trading (a.k.a. carbon trading

    or the carbon market), carbon becomes a

    commodity with a market value that can go

    up and down like any other commodity. This

    was sold to the public as providing anincenve for industry to emit less as they

    have to buy the right to emit.

    Unfortunately, not all proposed solu-

    ons to climate change were created

    equal. Many of the soluons which

    are being proposed by big business and internaonal forums as the answers to climatechange are not all they are cracked up to be; in fact many are expanding market reach,

    creang new opportunies for the powerful to prot and in the process damaging com-

    munies and furthering inequality. They even commodify the air we breathe and the

    ecosystems we rely on.

    The tricky thing about the current economic system is that when its in a pickle, it nds

    new markets to create in order to keep itself growing. Remembering that the current

    economic system and the ideology behind it, where prot is the goal and markets rule,

    helped get us into this mess in the rst place, lets take a minute to gure out if some of

    the soluons which are being created by it, and by those prong from it, are really

    what we want.

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    Carbon trading doesnt work: where it has

    been trialled (for instance, in the European

    Union, New South Wales and here in

    Aotearoa) it has failed to stop the expansion

    of coal-red power staons and other

    heavily pollung industries. In fact, it has

    provided huge tax payer subsidies from

    governments to major polluters.

    Carbon oseng means that fossil fuel

    eming companies can oset the carbon

    they emit by buying credits from projects

    that supposedly save emissions, or create

    fewer emissions that what would have been

    created otherwise. This means that

    Governments and companies in industrialisedcountries are delaying real domesc acon

    by buying up credits from the south.

    Another problem with oseng is that it

    rests on 'addionality', or whether the

    oseng project would have happened

    anyway. This means that oen quesonable

    projects (like coal power staons in India

    which use more 'sustainable' pracces andtechnology, or monoculture plantaons) are

    creang credits, bought by rst world

    companies so they can connue pollung

    elsewhere! The net result: even more


    Here in Aotearoa, our biggest eming

    industry, industrial dairy farming, is exempt

    from the emissions trading scheme. Otherpollung industries such as the coal mining

    sector are so heavily subsidised that

    Carbon Trade Watch called the ETS a

    taxpayer subsidy for plantaons and energy


    Carbon trading creates new markets,

    opportunies for polluters to make more prot

    and encourages privasaon of land, air and

    water. It has major implicaons for equality

    and peoples ability to make decisions about

    their lives with dignity. And further sll,

    important decisions, discussions and

    demands about climate change are being

    swept aside in favour of leaving it to the


    UN mechanismsThe United Naons Framework Convenon on

    Climate Change has long been the

    mechanism relied upon by both state and

    some civil society groups to oer soluons

    to the climate crisis. The current treaty of

    the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, has not

    achieved what it set out to, which was to

    get countries to commit to reducing

    emissions according to the concept ofcommon but dierenated responsibility

    the idea that industrialised countries must

    reduce their emissions to compensate for

    their carbon emissions during

    industrialisaon and developing countries

    can accordingly increase their emissions to a

    certain point. This is good in theory,

    however the Kyoto Protocol is not legally

    binding, nor is it enforceable, resulng in no

    countries keeping to their agreed emissions

    reducons targets, and it also creates

    dangerous market mechanisms.

    Furthermore, a number of big eming

    countries such as Canada and the United

    States are not party to the protocol (as it is

    voluntary) meaning that it only accounts for

    15% of overall emissions.

    Finally, the Kyoto Protocols emissions cuts

    are set to a two degree temperature rise

    target, which will sll be detrimental to

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    many around the world. Climate jusce

    organizaons advocate for a one degree rise

    which will ensure a climate safe future.

    The 2011 Negoaons also saw a renewed

    commitment to the Green Climate Fund,

    allowing the World Bank to be an interimtrustee. The Green Climate Fund runs the

    risk of becoming the Greedy Climate Fund

    as many NGOs have labelled with the

    potenal to be high jacked by corporates

    and Wall Street.

    Overall, the United Naons Negoaons on

    climate change oer very lile hope for a

    climate safe future. The negoaons are

    founded on neoliberal, technocrac

    soluons to climate change

    that are woefully

    inadequate and allow

    developed countries to

    evade their historical

    responsibilies. For

    example, the United

    Naons Reducing Emissionsfrom Deforestaon and

    Forest Degradaon (REDD)

    scheme has led to carbon

    trading companies ooding into the forests

    of indigenous peoples such as in Papua New

    Guinea. The Durban Group for Climate

    Jusce says this of REDD: In the South,

    REDD would transform the carbon in living

    trees into private property so that it can be

    awarded or transferred to private

    corporaons in the North. In the worst case,

    it could inaugurate a massive land grab. In

    the North, meanwhile, REDD credits would

    enable fossil fuel-related corporaons to

    maintain business as usual, to the detriment

    of communies aected by fossil fuel

    extracon and polluon.

    The United Naons is supposed to run

    according to consensus decision making,

    however in many cases countries are

    manipulated into agreeing or ignored

    completely as was the case of Bolivia

    during negoaons in 2010. Countries oen

    act in the interests of giant

    corporaons and the fossil fuel industry,

    which hold enormous power within these

    negoaons. And nally, negoaons are

    simply too slow to address the urgency of

    the climate change in many countries and

    ensure a safe climate for current and

    future generaons.

    TechnoxesThere is no doubt that technology is a partof the soluon to climate change. However,

    technological soluons can be a

    huge distracon to geng to the

    boom of things.

    From giant space mirrors to

    dumping iron parcles in the

    Pacic Ocean, from genecally

    engineered plants and animals to

    unleashing new synthec life

    forms upon the planet, we are

    promised a mind boggling array

    of miraculous soluons to the climate crisis;

    somemes by the very companies who are

    causing it.

    Jatropha, for example, is a plant once

    championed by Air New Zealand as a

    climate friendly aviaon biofuel which isnow being grown in Kenya in massive

    quanes. People who are already living low

    carbon lifestyles, such as small scale

    farmers, are being driven o their lands and

    the Jatropha, a noxious weed, is causing all

    sorts of environmental problems and leading

    to talk of war over land. Contrary to Air New

    Zealands inial claims, it turns out thatJatropha causes up to six mes more

    emissions than ordinary jet fuel.

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    There are plenty of other forms of green

    technology being researched, promoted

    and trialled here in Aotearoa: Biochar, GE

    trees and animals, nano-technology and

    synthec biology to name a few. Many of

    these technologies carry signicant risks,

    impact on poor or marginalised people here oroverseas when carried out at an industrial

    scale and are not sustainable.

    Climate jusce is not an-technology. Some

    'green technologies' or 'cleantech' will be an

    important part of our path out of the

    climate crisis. But it's important that in our

    search for soluons we ensure that these

    technologies actually do reduce emissions, thatthey do not further inequalies; that they do

    not pose further risk to the environment,

    eco-systems and people; and that they are

    not used as a distracon to the real change

    that needs to occur to address the root

    causes of climate change.

    Individual changeIn an era where were told everyone

    operates in their own self-interest, that we

    alone are responsible for our success or

    failure in this world, and that the rich are

    rich through their own hard work, its no

    surprise that the climate change discussion

    at the community level has quickly become

    about individual change. We are encouraged

    by Government and business to turn o ourlights, insulate our houses, and take

    recyclable bags to the supermarket. While

    all of these changes do make a dierence

    and its important to live our lives in

    accordance with the change we want to see

    in the world these all shi the blame from

    companies to people. While we work hard

    to change the ways we do things, companies

    sll run their adversing all night, drive milk

    from Southland to Canterbury and

    Canterbury to Southland because they can

    make more prot o it that way, and push

    to expand mining into areas that were

    previously o limits (e.g. Naonal Parks) and

    into riskier and riskier territories (e.g. Pike

    River). Its important to see individual

    change for what it is: a part of the soluonbut never as powerful as our collecve work.


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    Buildingsustainable and

    resilient communiesA large proporon of CO2 emissions globally

    come from transportaon; from all the stu

    we use and the food we eat. Creang

    localised food and trade networks is an

    empowering step towards creang the

    alternaves we need for sustainable lives. It

    feels great to be more self-sucient, and a

    bit more 'o the grid'.

    There are plenty of examples of great local

    iniaves around how we produce and

    trade food in NZ, like Kaibosh (which

    redistributes unused food) and community

    gardens. There are also great local trade

    iniaves such as Time Banking, where

    people can trade their me and skillswithout the use of money. If these dont

    exist in your community, you could start

    one. There are plenty of ways to make our

    own communies more sustainable.

    Strong and connected communies are

    important to support eorts to become

    more sustainable, and communies are

    also the base upon which we can resistfossil fuels and economic and social

    inequalies. Community gives us a

    network of people we can rely on.

    Connect the dotsSupporng allies who are working against

    inequality and injusce helps us address

    the roots causes of climate change. The

    unequal social and economic

    system which is at

    the root of climate change aects everyone

    except the very rich in our daily lives. Part of

    our struggle for climate jusce is also that

    struggle for a fairer economic system. That

    might mean standing in solidarity with

    workers when the bosses try to slash our

    condions (e.g. the recent lockout of Port ofAuckland and AFFCO workers) or when

    union sites strike to win gains or protect our

    current condions. Our wins and our losses

    have a ow on aect to others across

    society. It might mean ghng for educaon

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    (e.g. no increase in class sizes) and health,

    and drawing the links between these issues

    and that of climate change. The more

    empowered our communies are, the

    greater our chances of liming climate

    change and building our own alternaves.

    Tradional knowledgeClimate jusce sees people as agents in our

    own lives and doesnt see front line

    communies (especially in the global south)

    as passive vicms. Peoples, communies

    and cultures around the world already hold

    powerful tradional knowledge about howto live and work together sustainably. In

    parcular, indigenous peoples and women

    are key holders of tradional knowledge

    that should be respected and integrated into

    soluons which will see us out of the

    climate crisis. In Aotearoa, Maori are key

    holders of this knowledge.

    For urban acvists its important to ask andthink how we can stand with local Maori to

    defend this knowledge, and about how

    proposed soluons could aect Maori and

    Maori communies ability to live sustainably

    as communies.

    Keep the fossil fuels in the groundTo avoid catastrophic climate change, it iscrucial that we keep the fossil fuels in the

    ground. Rather than elaborate schemes like

    carbon trading where the carbon in the

    atmosphere is moved around an

    accountants ledger while more and more

    carbon is released into the atmosphere from

    the earth, we need to Keep the Coal in the

    Hole! No drill, no spill! Ban fracking! Part of

    our climate jusce work is being involved in

    or supporng these campaigns.

    SolidarityAcng in solidarity with eected and

    marginalised communies strengthens

    networks, builds alliances and is a vital part

    of campaigning for climate jusce. Find out

    what maers to Tangata Whenua workingon climate change and making their

    communies more sustainable and

    support their campaigns. Get in contact with

    eected communies who are on the front

    lines of climate change, both here in

    Aotearoa and overseas, especially our

    neighbours in the Pacic and communies

    that rely on fossil fuel extracon for

    employment, and begin the conversaon,

    build relaonships and nd out where you

    have common ground. Research what big

    polluters/oseers/nanciers are in your

    own community, and especially company

    headquarters if you live in a big city. Find out

    what they are doing around the countryand overseas, and what communies are

    doing to resist their fossil fuel projects.

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    Direct AconNonviolent direct acon is not only a cricalpart of many successful social movements,

    it's also a powerful way to express your

    democrac freedoms and challenge the

    injusces which create the problems we face

    in our society, including climate change.

    When the polical process is not up to the

    task of addressing the injusces of climate

    change, direct acon can be a powerful

    change-making tool.

    Some reasons to take direct acon To bypass our 'leaders' and resist

    oppression, ecological destrucon andinjusce.

    To foster freedom, jusce and ecologicalsustainability.

    To stay sane in a world driven byinequalies of power.

    Because you dont need a PhD to getinvolved.

    Because it is everyday reality for people fromthe poorer developing naons and we have tostand strong together.

    Because me is running out.

    Because the future of this planet is tooimportant to sign away to the powerful.

    OutreachReaching out to our communies and talking

    about climate change and jusce are vital to

    create the shi in consciousness needed to

    understand and act on the problem. Take a

    look at the resources listed at the end of this

    handbook and get in touch with those that

    can help, then get out there and talk to

    groups in your community about climatejusce.

    There is so much we can do when we are

    empowered by knowledge of what really

    drives climate change and how real climate

    jusce and community resistance can change

    those drivers!

    Start a group, join one that suits you or

    educate one you're already in about climate

    jusce. Get amongst it! Try not to be

    discouraged by those who dismiss your ideas

    as radical or 'out there.' Keep speaking truth

    to power. All social movements were at oneme considered radical and unrealisc, even

    the ones we now take for granted as

    posive steps for humanity, such as the

    women's rights movement, the civil rights

    movement, the abolishment of slavery, and

    even democracy itself.

    Distribute informaon, run a workshop or

    organise a lm night. For real change to occurin the minds of people its oen best to

    provide informaon and suggest some

    quesons, rather than tell people what to

    think. Don't be disheartened if people aren't

    compelled to act straight away. Oen

    providing food for thought is the seed of

    change that sets people on the direcon to

    climate jusce acon. Its not always an

    immediate change, at least it wasn't for most

    of us!

    Creave communicaon: Don't be afraid to

    add some humour to your acons for climate

    jusce and events. Climate jusce cheer

    leaders, fossil fool clowns and carbon trading

    circus acts have all featured in powerful

    climate jusce acons and events in NZ and

    overseas. Oen a bit of fun can get peopleasking quesons and help communicate your

    message in an inving way.

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    How will people in dierent social

    posions experience this proposed

    soluon? Will it raise the price of basic goods?

    How will this impact on people with lowincomes? Does it take away peoples right to make decisions about their land? Does it create dumping grounds where toxic polluon is concentrated? If so, who

    will be most impacted? Which instuons, governments, companies or communies stand to benet from it? Does it allocate cost according to responsibility? That is, will the companies and

    governments that caused most of the problem have to pay for it? How will it deal with the loss of jobs in pollung industries? What will happen to those

    workers and their communies? Are a bunch of green jobs being promised? Are they jobs where workers have a voice

    in their industry and workplace? Does it increase the amount of infrastructure in rural/isolated areas, so that people

    living there can more easily adapt to a changing climate? How will it deal with climate refugees? Does it account for a growing populaon? Does it give more power to police and military units?

    Do many people understand it, or is it highly technocrac? Does it require special

    training to comprehend the detail? Do many people own the proposed soluon do they feel that they and their

    communies or workplaces will be part of designing it and implemenng it?

    How do you make decisions in your campaign?

    Who is part of your decision-making? Who isnt?

    Do people from lots of dierent social backgrounds feel comfortable and empowered

    in the campaign? In either case, how might this aect the work that youre doing?

    Do you talk regularly about how the campaign relates to jusce concerns?

    What kind of imagery are you using to talk about climate change? Does it rely on an

    image of powerless vicms in the global South?

    Does your group do any solidarity or ally work with other struggles for social jusce?

    Is this considered an important part of what you do together?

    Does it increase peoples quality of life?

    Will it avoid dangerous climate change and the unequal impacts that follow?

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    Aotearoa basedClimate Jusce Aotearoa

    Climate Jusce Taranaki

    Coal Acon Network

    Say No to Fracking in NZ

    Auckland Coal Acon

    Stop the Drilling on our East Coast

    Internaonal resourcesCarbon Trade Watch

    Friends of the Earth Australia

    Global Jusce Ecology Project

    Organising Cools the Planet

    Carbon Trading-A Crical Conversaon on Climate Change, Privasaon and Power

    The Change Agency

    The Ruckus Society

    Indigenous Environmental Network

    Rising Tide

    La Via Campesina

    Durban group for Climate Jusce