If your head’s in the sand, watch out for the rising tide

Melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet mean we need to move now to prepare for rising seas

Photo credit: Christopher Michel https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Old habits die hard. National’s knee-jerk response to experts who are forecasting unprecedented sea level rise caused by climate change has been to deny it’s a problem New Zealanders should be concerned about. Finance Minister Bill English said the National Government won’t be looking into this risk any time soon as “it’s a bit speculative” […]

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Milk and coal in South Canterbury

This week, Fonterra’s application to expand its milk-drying factory and burn more coal at Studholme, in South Canterbury, is being put to the test. The local council is considering the application and hearing from people who’ve asked to make submissions. It might come as a surprise to many people that Fonterra is one of New […]

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Trillion dollars wasted on coal

Huntly Power station - New Zealand's last big coal-fired power plant

If you had a trillion dollars to spend on energy, would you invest it in burning coal for electricity? Well that’s exactly what is slated to happen internationally, according to a new report. The report, published by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm, explains that coal-generating capacity equal to 1,500 coal plants is either in […]

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The Government’s fresh water reforms aren’t so fresh after all

Last weekend the Government put out a consultation document on cleaning up freshwater called Next Steps for Fresh Water. it has have to look like it’s doing something big, because we are now at a crisis point with water quality. However we are disappointed in the plans, which lack some fundamental and essential commitments to […]

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Taking Climate Action to the Next Level: Reflections by a UN Climate Chief

 As the ink dries on the Paris Agreement concluded in December, the significance of the event is now being weighed up.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are extremes in views.  At one and the same time, it is an ‘historic moment of hope for humanity’; it goes ‘nowhere near far enough’; and it is even a ‘fraud’. […]

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New marine protection proposals short change our oceans

ocean

The National Government’s proposed overhaul of the Marine Reserves Act 1971 falls well short of what is needed to promote sustainable oceans and fisheries management. New Zealand’s geological history and long geographic isolation means we have an incredibly diverse marine environment with different habitats ranging from subtropical regions such as the Kermadec Islands to the […]

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Indigenous action strong despite weak Paris climate agreement

In my maiden speech to Parliament I said that affirming indigenous rights and supporting our traditional wisdoms is ESSENTIAL to combatting climate change. With the signing of the Paris climate agreement I am surer of that than ever. Around the world indigenous people are at the forefront of the fight to shut down dangerous fossil […]

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The Old Economy is over, but National hasn’t got the memo

There are many shortcomings a committed climate hawk (of which, I am one) could find with the COP21 Paris agreement. There is no legally binding commitment to reduce climate pollution, for example. But the agreement is nonetheless a landmark event. All the countries of the world have signed up to an agreement to limit global […]

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Ensuring robust GE protections must also ensure safety of older technologies

A few weeks ago the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) called for submissions about proposed changes to the classifications and subsequent rules around organisms developed using chemical and radiation treatments and that may be considered products of genetic modification (GE/GMO). Background For many years some plant breeding especially, has used chemical or radiation mutagenesis treatments to […]

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London Climate March

Over the weekend, Green MP Julie Anne Genter took to the streets of London for the People’s Climate March. She was joined by over 100,000 people, including actress Emma Thompson. Talking proportional representation with THE Emma Thompson at #London#ClimateMarch today. We need more democracy! pic.twitter.com/089tvKeOPm — Julie Anne Genter (@JulieAnneGenter) November 29, 2015 Check out […]

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Marching for our climate

Climate March NZ 2015

Being part of the People’s Climate March in Otautahi/Christchurch on Saturday felt like being part of something special, and something quite remarkable because we were part of the world’s largest climate mobilisation involving more than 600,000 citizens. Around 3,000 people gathered beneath the trees and on the grass in Christchurch’s Victoria Square just as thousands […]

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Blueskin Bay: community wind

New Zealand is famed for its wind and it’s used to power our homes and businesses. Often wind electricity comes from large wind farms and huge turbines, but down south a community has worked together to produce their own power from the wind. Blueskin Bay Community Trust has applied for resource consent for their own […]

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What you need to know about Paris in five minutes

From November 30 to December 11, the governments of more than 190 nations will convene in Paris and try to reach a global climate agreement. The generally agreed aim is for that agreement to limit global warming to 2°C. Paris is the very best chance we’ve got to formalise an agreement of weight and ambition, […]

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Why a fair go for solar isn’t hot air

Geoff Simmons, who works with Gareth Morgan, has published a blog post about my Fair Go For Solar Bill. I welcome the debate. I hope tomorrow Peter Dunne will break the 60/60 vote tie in Parliament so we can continue the solar conversation and hear from all those involved around a select committee table. Simmons […]

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