* Yesterday, James Shaw and Eugenie Sage paid a visit to the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University to meet with leading climate scientists. James shares his reflections on their vital work. Something dramatic is taking place in the Antarctic. I’m sitting in a room at the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University, Wellington, with some […]
Every year is special, but 2016 has been extraordinary. We are, I think, witness to two global revolutions, occurring simultaneously. One is of a world uniting. The other is of a world fragmenting. This push-and-pull, yin and yang, will go on, possibly forever, since they evoke two instincts deep in the human psyche. But this […]
You’d be forgiven for not noticing that the Government published a new draft energy strategy this week. It’s basically the same as the old energy strategy, which they published in 2011, but with one new target around industrial process emissions intensity. In short, it’s a missed opportunity that shows a lack of bold vision and […]
The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions.
Humanity has woken, after a quarter-century of fitful slumber, to the fact of climate change. Dangerous climate change.
Today, Christchurch City Council considered the National-led Government’s Block Offer 2017 proposal to tender for permits which allow companies to explore for oil and gas in New Zealand, including off the Canterbury coast . Thankfully, the City Council voted by 15 to 1 not to support the proposal and to ask Ngai Tahu and Environment […]
I was a lucky kid. When I was about five or six my mum and auntie took me up to Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu and taught me to ski. As a young kid I thought there was no bigger treat than playing in the snow, on top of a mountain. Even now, as an adult, […]
Gareth Hughes says the public should get a say on Nova Energy’s proposed big new polluting power plant in Waikato
How is it that New Zealand is supposed to be playing our part in the global mission to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, yet Nova Energy is proposing to build more fossil fuel-burning power plants that emit greenhouse gases?
Today I met with locals living rurally near Otorohanga, south Waikato, who will be affected by Nova Energy’s plan to build a new 360MW gas-fired power station. In a bit of a tag team, James Shaw asked questions in Parliament about the same thing.
This year, the block offer proposes opening more than 500,000 square kilometers to onshore and offshore drilling and mining. That’s bigger than Spain!
The Green Party launched a campaign on Friday to stop the proposed construction of a new gas-fired power plant in South Waikato that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, causing climate change. Nova Energy has applied for resource consents to build a gas-burning power plant near Otorohanga. I’m asking Environment Minister Nick Smith to “call in” […]
The Unitary Plan is going to shape the future of Auckland. Here are 4 reasons you should care.
In the course of a century there are just a few events that change the direction of history. The early 20th century witnessed the First World War and the creation of the League of Nations. The mid-20th saw the second war and the United Nations. The late-20th saw the end of the Cold War, and […]
If you read the news there are a lot of terrifying climate change reports being published but a new global resurvey of clean energy just out should give us some hope. Last year was a record year for clean energy globally according to the latest annual Renewables Global Status Report published this week. We are […]
Energy Minister Simon Bridges revealed in Parliament this week he has no idea what majority state-owned power companies are up to, when he wrongly claimed that Genesis Energy would not burn coal at Huntly unless there was a shortage of renewable electricity. Was it ignorance or a smokescreen? Responding to Genesis Energy’s decision to backtrack […]
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” […]
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 […]
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 […]
There is a growing consensus that National’s climate policy is not only failing to stop pollution, but is actively encouraging the growth of highly polluting sectors of the economy. For all the ambitious talk by the Prime Minister at the Paris climate conference, National has shown little appetite to implement real measures to transition New […]
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’. […]
Working for conservation There have been tears and joy in 2015. I wept with frustration at human arrogance and greed seeing diggers plunder Northland’s peat bog wetlands for ancient swamp kauri but marvelled at the more than 7,000 people who signed the petition to halt swamp kauri mining. We haven’t stopped the plunder but did […]
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 […]
It only took outgoing Climate Change Minister Tim Groser a few hours after the Paris climate talks to throw cold water over any idea that the National Government might have been inspired to turn over a new leaf on climate policy. Groser spoke to
They glide quietly through our streets, but if Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) has its way, our electric trolley buses could glide into the history books. They are an iconic feature of our city and the debate on their future should be more prominent than the current quiet discussions. In June last year GWRC decided […]
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 […]
We have an agreement. And not just any agreement – an agreement with potential, full of hope for what the future can achieve, and with a clear directive to world governments telling them that they must step up on climate action. More than anything, the agreement is indicative of a change in political will, and […]
A new draft agreement was released this morning, with delegates given only two and a half hours to read it before they had to be on form and ready to debate its contents. Options are being whittled away, pages are being dropped, and the all-important language feels as impenetrable as ever. So, beyond the high-level […]
It’s not every COP that we’re lucky enough to be awarded Fossil of the Day twice, but here we are. This time, we came in second place (along with the US and Canada) for something as simple as language – but at a conference where words and brackets are everything, this isn’t too surprising. The […]
The big news of today is the release of Germanwatch and CAN Europe’s report, the Climate Change Performance Index 2016. Ranking 58 countries on aspects of climate policy, the report is yet more damning evidence of the National Government’s unwillingness to act effectively on climate change – we’ve dropped seven places in the last year, […]
Well, we have a draft agreement – and while it’s still heavily bracketed, it is good to see the Parties able to come together and find some common ground. One Party we haven’t been able to see, however, is New Zealand. The Green Party is subscribed to more notifications about COP21 than can possibly be […]
Yesterday, the Green Party COP blogpost briefly addressed the disparity between how much countries contribute to climate change and how much they will suffer. At Day 4 of COP, this disparity became of a source of debate – one of the big issues was how we deal with ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ when it comes […]
The weather in Wellington is once again windy, rainy, and stormy – the perfect segue into discussing the COP theme of the day, resilience. Resilience can seem like jargon, but it actually describes a key aspect of adaptation – how countries and communities prepare themselves against the effects of climate change. In New Zealand, for […]
I and many others here at COP21 fasted today. Why go hungry? Fasting is a simple, very personal, action we can take to show our commitment to stopping dangerous climate destabilisation and create a better world. I fasted in solidarity with the millions of people who are already suffering from severe weather events due to […]
New Zealand’s first day in Paris was a real winner – literally. We are now the proud holders of the ‘Fossil of the Day’ award, which is given to countries who show the least amount of ambition that day. We won because John Key called for action on fossil fuels, demanding that countries all over […]
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 […]
The national leaders of the world – there are, strictly as yet, no world leaders – have assembled in Paris and offered their wisdom on how to save the climate of planet Earth from humans, in the sense at least of keeping it congenial for humankind, and maybe a few other life-forms. There is a […]
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 […]
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 […]
Earlier this year I launched a campaign for mandatory palm oil labelling. For the last two months I have been following the news coming out of Indonesia with a growing sense of dismay and frustration. Indonesia is burning . Thousands of hectares of pristine rainforest is going up in smoke to make way for palm […]