This Saturday, It’s Time To March For The Climate

The People’s Climate March is this weekend. Most events are on Saturday 28 November, though there are a few on the 29th. You can check the details of local events (note that there are 4 pages of events – you can move between them at the bottom right of the page).

Why march? Because the Paris climate talks are starting soon, and the New Zealand Government has not only set a ridiculously weak target for emissions reductions, but has a track record of working hard behind the scenes with countries such as Australia, Canada, Russia and Saudi Arabia to prevent or weaken international action on climate change.

So let’s get as many people as possible involved all around the country. Let’s send our Government a message even they can’t ignore: we need real action on climate change, and we need it to start now.

PS: There’s still time to make your submission against Fonterra’s coal expansion plans – and check out this cool Fonterra AGM action by Auckland Coal Action.

One Woman Stood Up To Fonterra. Now You Can Follow Her Example.

Selva J. Calvi stands up to Fonterra in Whangarei

Selva J. Calvo stands up to Fonterra in Whangarei

This is Selva. Along with nearly 3000 other New Zealanders, she is concerned that while the coal industry is in retreat around the world, here in New Zealand Fonterra is rapidly expanding its use of coal and propping up some of the nation’s most destructive coal companies, like Bathurst Resources, by doing so.

So Selva did something. She went to the venue of a Fonterra shareholders’ meeting and made a public stand against Fonterra’s coal-fired expansion plans – plans that, if carried out, will make climate change worse and more destructive.

We salute Selva and others who took a stand against Fonterra at their nationwide series of shareholders’ meetings last week. But you can take a stand against Fonterra too – and you don’t have to get out in public to do so.

All you have to do is tell Environment Canterbury you don’t want Fonterra to build two dirty new coal boilers at its Studholme plant in South Canterbury, when they could be installing wood-fired boilers instead, using waste wood from forestry operations.

You can make a quick submission using this form. Make sure you say you are opposed to all 8 resource consent applications – they are all part of the same plan.

And if you need more information, check out our Quick Submission Guide (Word |PDF), where you’ll find plenty of great arguments to use.

PS: Submissions close on Friday 27 November at 5pm – don’t wait till it’s too late!



Join The People’s Climate March

What are you planning to do on Saturday November 28th? Got any plans?

You could be part of the global People’s Climate March. In over 160 cities around the world (London, Hong Kong, New York, Sydney to name a few), people will be marching to demand that their governments work to find solutions to the challenges posed by climate change. People, organisations and companies are working to find solutions – now we want our governments to take action to reduce carbon emissions. As world leaders gather in Paris for the climate summit we’re sending a clear message that we need more action.

This is your chance to be part of a global phenomenon and the largest climate march in New Zealand history, and in the world.


Events will take place in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Nelson, Wairarapa, Napier/Hastings, Invercargill, Rotorua, Marlborough, Ashburton, Whanganui. You can find full details at All marches will be family-friendly opportunities for anybody who cares about our planet to march with like-minded folks.

Coal Action Network has been busy working with organisations, including Caritas, the World Wildlife Fund, First Union, 350 Aotearoa, Action Station, Greenpeace, Unite, Generation Zero, the PSA, the Maritime Workers Union, the P3 Foundation, Forest and Bird, the World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam New Zealand to make this happen; Harvey is part of the Wellington organising group and Jeanette is representing CANA on the Auckland committee.

There are many more groups than the ones listed who will take part.

We’re looking for individuals who care to come and take part. If you are in Auckland, look for the black and orange CANA banner and march with us.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer said recently, “Never think that democracy doesn’t work. It does. But the citizens have to made a lot of noise!

Please come. Bring home made signs and banners and your whole family. Make your voice heard.

As Naomi Klein said in This Changes Everything, “to Change Everything, we Need Everyone”.

Submit Now On Fonterra’s Proposed Coal-Fired Studholme Dairy Factory Expansion

2777 people signed our open letter with Action Station asking Fonterra to pledge “no new coal boilers” and progressively switch their old coal boilers to wood. But Fonterra are refusing to listen, and they are pressing ahead with plans to build two new coal-fired boilers as part of their Studholme plant expansion in South Canterbury.

Fonterra have said that up to 20% of biomass could be used in their new boilers, meaning at least 80% of the fuel would be coal – but their resource consent application makes it clear that coal is their preferred option.

Waimate locals and Coal Action Network activists make their statement in front of Fonterra's Studholme plant

Waimate locals and Coal Action Network activists make their statement in front of Fonterra’s Studholme plant

Fonterra love to trade on New Zealand’s “clean and green” image. They don’t want the world to know that their coal use has increased 38% since 2008. Yet rather than do something real about the problem by using wood waste instead of coal to fuel their new boilers, they prefer to bully their way through and hope no-one will notice.

But Fonterra needs resource consent for the planned expansion of its Studholme plant – and because that resource consent application has been publicly notified, you get the chance to tell Fonterra that in 2015, increasing our dependence on coal and our greenhouse gas emissions just isn’t on.

Please download and read our Quick Submission Guide (Word | PDF) and then submit now against Fonterra’s planned coal-fired Studholme expansion.  (Note: All 8 of the resource consent applications listed on this form relate to the Studholme expansion, so it’s simplest to choose all of them.)

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 27 November – but why wait? Get your submission in today! And if you have any questions about the submissions process, please contact us on

Fonterra Determined To Double Down On Coal – Tell Them That’s Not On

Too big to fail, too timid to change, or too arrogant to listen? You can form your own view on why Fonterra is determined to bet all our futures on coal, but there is no doubt that this is exactly what they plan to do.

Fonterra has made it very plain to Coal Action Network Aotearoa that they have no concrete plans to reduce their coal use any time soon and that growing the company is their bottom line – they appear to think that the environment is just a “nice to have”.

the first loser

Fonterra’s coal use has increased 38% since 2008. They are already New Zealand’s second-biggest coal user, and their determination to expand coal use further will only make its position even worse. We believe Fonterra will eventually recognise the error of their ways: the question is, how much more damage to our climate will they have done in the meantime?

But for now we’re asking nicely. Until 6 November, you can sign on to our open letter to Fonterra calling on them to commit to using no new coal. This is the first stage in our campaign to stop Fonterra becoming New Zealand’s greatest climate criminal. It won’t be the last.

Fonterra Uses More Coal Than Huntly Coal-Fired Power Station

Fonterra is now the second largest user of coal in New Zealand, using more coal than the Huntly coal-fired power station, according to our new research (see table below).

This highlights the company’s contribution to climate change and to New Zealand’s total emissions. And it’s why it’s time to Tell Fonterra: No New Coal.

Our coal use is bigger

Fonterra does not divulge its total coal burn, but this table, compiled by CANA from various mainly public sources, shows it is well over half a million tonnes a year and growing rapidly.

Even without the proposed huge new coal fired milk drier at Studholme, for which Fonterra  has just applied for consents, it uses more coal than the Huntly power station. With the new plant it would use more than 600,000 tonnes.

The Huntly coal-fired power station has the capacity to generate 480 MW of heat, compared with Fonterra’s combined generating capacity of 572.9 MW.

The largest coal user in New Zealand is the Glenbrook steel mill. The Huntly power station was second, but has now been overtaken by Fonterra.

“Fonterra’s use of coal, and its planned expansion, is simply unsustainable,” said CANA spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons. “The world is in transition away from coal as climate change starts to bite everywhere and the science tells us we must phase out fossil fuels by 2050. Fonterra is going rapidly in the other direction”.

These huge quantities of coal are used to generate heat to dry milk to milk powder, a low value commodity which is Fonterra’s main export.

The company has a number of alternatives. Wood-fired boilers are common in Europe, and New Zealand has large quantities of waste wood from forestry operations. There are wood fuel suppliers who collect and process this wood and deliver to boiler sites.

“Another smart strategy would be to invest in adding more value to less milk, with less coal burn and fewer cows generating more wealth for Fonterra, farmers and the country,” said Ms Fitzsimons.

As the world demands action on climate change and a shift to cleaner fuels, the risk to Fonterra’s brand in discerning markets like Europe will become a serious consideration.

While the world is working to move away from coal, the Government has done nothing to deter Fonterra’s use of the climate-changing fuel, testament to the fact that we have one of the weakest climate policies on the planet.

CANA is a volunteer group of citizens working to reduce the mining and burning of coal by opposing new and expanded mines and plans to burn more coal, while protecting the jobs that already exist.


Join Over 1600 People Who’ve Signed On To Tell Fonterra “No New Coal”

Fonterra is New Zealand’s second biggest coal user – and they are planning a further major expansion of their coal use. At a time when Antarctic ice sheets are under increasing threat from climate change, that’s criminally irresponsible.

But Fonterra have an alternative: they could use wood waste instead of coal in their new plants, and then progressively switch their existing coal plants to use wood waste. So far, they have refused to take up that alternative.

It’s Time To Tell Fonterra: No New Coal

dairy for life

Many people know that Fonterra, and the expansion of the New Zealand dairy industry, have led to massive environmental problems. These include the degradation of water quality and a big increase in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

But what’s less well known is that Fonterra burns coal to dry milk powder. Their use of coal has expanded 38% since 2008 and they are planning a further major expansion.

So, in partnership with Action Station, Coal Action Network Aotearoa has launched a campaign calling on Fonterra to commit to building no new coal boilers, and then to progressively phase out existing coal boilers.

We think this is an issue Fonterra is vulnerable on, and now is a good time to push for change. If you agree, please sign and share this call to action: