Since yesterday MSM have been reporting that sea level rise is going to affect New Zealand much faster than previously thought (serious problems for coastal cities by 2040). The implications are particularly for councils and developers and the message is clear: we need to act urgently to mitigate climate change as well as change our plans for adaptation.
In a piece of brilliant timing, this morning XR Aotearora NZ activists have occupied Bathurst Resources’ Tākitimu mine in Southland.
#Breaking: activists have occupied & closed Bathurst’s Takitimu coal mine, which is mining outrageous amounts of coal in the midst of a climate emergency – most of which is used to power @Fonterra’s dirty milk processors. #FonterraQuitCoal pic.twitter.com/GArigj58qB
— Adam Currie (@Adam_Currie_NZ) May 1, 2022
From XR’s press release,
“We have peacefully shut down this mine because the government and local councils don’t have the courage to put an end to coal mining in Aotearoa. We are being betrayed by Fonterra and Bathurst, who are determined to nudge us deeper into the climate crisis no matter the cost,” says Extinction Rebellion (XR) spokesperson Erik Kennedy.
Fonterra uses the vast majority of coal mined at Takitimu to dehydrate milk for export at their Clandeboye factory. The coal mined at Takitimu during the last (financial) year was equivalent to the emissions of driving a new car the length of Aotearoa 1.5 million times. (209,000 Tonnes of sub-bituminous coal would emit 383,000 T of CO2 when burnt.) Bathurst Resources are also poised to mine the ecologically fragile Denniston and Buller Plateaus on the West Coast.
“The government declared a climate emergency in 2020 – when are they going to step in to close coal mines? When will the government promise coal workers the option of good clean jobs instead?”
Otago Daily Times coverage including that Bathurst have been given permission by the Southland District Council to expand the mine, which involves removing forestry currently own by SDC. Forest and Bird have sought a judicial review of this decision.
What Labour should be doing: phasing out coal and helping the communities affected to find other ways of making a living that are sustainable and resilient for those communities.
This fifty minute FB livestream from earlier is of the protestors talking about the situation and what they are doing
Donations to XR for the cost of today’s action can be made here.