AOTEAROA CLIMATE EMERGENCY
CONFERENCE AND WORKSHOPS
Venue/Date: James Cook Hotel, Wellington, 11 November 2019
Media Statement: 19 September 2019
Climate Change group sees “political deadlock”
Aotearoa Climate Emergency (ACE), a climate change network, will host a conference in Wellington in November to promote
holding a Citizens Assembly in 2020, as a way of breaking what it says is the “current political deadlock” on treating
climate change as an emergency.
Spokesperson Phil Saxby says the group wants to bring together all the diverse groups supporting urgent action on
climate change, ranging from City Councils to students, iwi organisations, environmentalists to eco-sensitive business
and farmer groups. “A large part of the day will be devoted to reaching agreement on how a Citizens Assembly could
operate, to break the deadlock by taking the climate crisis to a group of ordinary citizens”.
“Parliament seems increasingly deadlocked, even over the very modest proposals to reach Zero Carbon by 2050. Yet the
news on climate change becomes more urgent almost daily, and all our main City Councils, and the Youth Parliament as
well as our top scientists, are calling for emergency action,” says Conference organiser Kate Jensen.
A united, cross party approach is urgently needed, says Phil Saxby. He believes a Citizens Assembly would have “moral
authority” if it made strong recommendations to Parliament. The conference will include a panel discussion with MPs from
both government and Opposition parties.
The Citizens Assembly proposal is modelled on the Irish Citizens Assembly, which was successful in promoting public
understanding and discussion on abortion law, in advance of the recent referendum there. The Irish Citizens Assembly has
also briefly investigated climate change issues.
The November conference will follow climate change protests scheduled for 27 September (General Climate strike) and in
early October (International Rebellion).