INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rangatahi In Pōneke Prepare To Strike For Climate And Social Justice From New Government

Published: Wed 3 Apr 2024 07:54 AM
Students are taking to the streets to highlight the lack of action by the new National-led Government to tackle climate change.
Rangatahi will strike on the 5th of April, meeting at Civic Square at 12pm, before walking to Parliament to demand the Government take real and immediate action to reduce emissions and ensure Aotearoa has a sustainable, fair and healthy society now and into the future.
“Action needs to be taken in order to protect the future of Papatūānuku and rangatahi in Aotearoa, and around the world.” School Strike 4 Climate Pōneke member Frankie Huthnance says.
“The Government is all talk and no action. The Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon keeps saying he is committed to meeting our climate change targets such as net zero carbon by 2050 but he has no plan on how he is going to do it.
“We are facing a climate crisis right now. The devastation from Auckland Anniversary Weekend flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle last year saw people lose their lives, their homes and their livelihoods. This year, wildfires threatened those in Christchurch’s Port Hills.
“The impacts of climate change are everywhere. Australia and California have experienced extreme flooding while record temperatures in Chile caused raging wildfires. Globally, we know 2023 is the hottest year ever on record.
“We’re taking a united stand. This isn’t just a climate strike; it’s a call for justice.” School Strike 4 Climate NZ advocate, Nate Wilbourne says.
“Aotearoa New Zealand is going backwards on climate change. The Government's recent policy changes such as ditching the Clean Car Discount, defunding the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to give tax cuts to the rich, and restarting oil and gas drilling will make it even harder to meet our targets and will put the future of our whānau and Papatūānuku at risk; making it one of School Strike’s priorities to return this ban to gas and oil drilling.
“School Strike 4 Climate Pōneke is also calling for the Fast Track Approvals Bill to be stopped in its tracks. We cannot have a bill in place that allows the removal of public input, and through the decision making of three Ministers, approve or deny any projects while being able to override the usual checks and balances in place to protect Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the environment. It is a simply undemocratic bill that will enable the Government to put us on a fast track to environmental destruction to uplift the interests and the profits of large corporations.
“The Government needs to start taking climate change seriously, starting at the top. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon failed to mention the impending climate crisis when he set out his vision for Aotearoa New Zealand during his State of the Nation speech.
“This lack of acknowledgement of the impending climate crisis by the government encourages ignorance towards these issues. This is part of the reason School Strike is also demanding an increase in climate education, not just inside schools, but for all. Without this education, rangatahi are left unaware of the severity of the continued environmental destruction and what they can do to combat this climate crisis to build a more sustainable Aotearoa.
“The Minister for Climate Change, Simon Watt, and the Minister for the Environment, Penny Simmonds, are both outside of Cabinet, where the real decisions on climate change are made. These are worrying signs that the climate crisis and the transition to a low carbon future is low on the Government’s list of priorities.
“This is a time for leadership. Instead, the Government is literally pouring fuel on the climate crisis,” School Strike 4 Climate Pōneke member, Sinead McGuire says.
“However, climate justice cannot be achieved without indigenous justice. Destruction of ecosystems and environments once cared for by indigenous communities, has been brought about by the theft of these lands. The symbiotic relationships these communities formed with their lands, rivers and oceans have been forever altered by the effects of colonialism and capitalism. In order for climate justice to be achieved, we must recognise the tino rangatiratanga of tangata whenua and help our whānau in Moana Nui a Kiwa who will keenly suffer the consequences of our inactions. It is our responsibility to move away from structures that are responsible for this environmental devastation, to move towards an equitable and climate conscious future.
“Aotearoa is rising. Come stand with us.

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