For Immediate Release
Arch Deacon Speaks Out Against Coal
Arch Deacon Dr Anthony Dancer, Social Justice Commissioner for the Anglican Church, says “At its core, global climate
change is not about economic theory or political platforms. It is about our human stewardship of God's creation and our
responsibility to those who come after us. It is, literally, all about our grandchildren…. True stewardship requires
changes in human actions—both in moral behaviour and technical advancement. A renewed sense of restraint could make an
essential contribution to addressing global climate change”.
“Digging up Lignite and burning it is an intergenerational crime”, said Rosemary Penwarden of Coal Action Network
Aotearoa. This builds on NASA scientist James Hansen’s statement when he visited Aotearoa in 2011, that “adaption to
climate change is mandatory and mitigation is critical”.
Concerns about Lignite mining in Southland are not new. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, WWF, Coal
Action Network Aotearoa, and the Anglican Social Justice Commission have all released reports on the devastating impacts
mining Lignite would bring to the land, air, water and people in Southland and beyond New Zealand. (See reports at end
of Press Release).
Building on this knowledge, a group of concerned citizens invited the author of the publication Just Lignite, Rosemary
Penwarden, member of Coal Action Network Aotearoa, and Anthony Dancer, the Anglican Social Justice Commissioner, to
present a series of public meetings in Nelson, Motueka and Takaka.
Projects to extract Lignite via an open cast coal mine in Mataura, Southland is being developed by State owned
enterprise Solid energy.
“If these go ahead they will increase New Zealand’s carbon emissions by more than 20%, making Aotearoa’s ‘fair share’ of
action to lessen climate change impossible to achieve. Children who are two now, will bear the brunt of Climate change,
what are we doing to our children’s future? “ said Rosemary Penwarden.
Anthony Dancer said “People came and were part of discussions across the top of the south, about where to next. Humans
are changing the climate and therefore we need to be changing our behaviour. We need to work together and strengthen our
families and our communities, because climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity this century”.
Dr Anthony Dancer said “Because of thermal delay, we are only seeing the impacts now from 30 years ago, and with an
increase in emissions – what will it be like in 30 years from now? We need to reduce our carbon emissions.”
Anglican Social Justice Commissioner, Anthony Dancer say’s “At its core, global climate change is not about economic
theory or political platforms. It is about our human stewardship of God's creation and our responsibility to those who
come after us. It is, literally, all about our grandchildren…. True stewardship requires changes in human actions—both
in moral behaviour and technical advancement. A renewed sense of restraint could make an essential contribution to
addressing global climate change”.
Rosemary Penwarden, author of the Just Lignite booklet says “we need a just transition away from mining coal – coal is
the most polluting of the fossil fuels. It is the highest contributor to climate chaos. grandkids.” Rosemary went on to
say, “Coal Action Network Aotearoa opposes all new coalmines. That’s the single most effective thing we can do for our
grandkids and so we’re saying – lets keep the coal in the hole!”