Yep, we made it to The Guardian Environment’s front page – for all the wrong reasons.
Our charming Prime Minister – and Minister of Tourism – has excelled himself with his latest video promoting drilling, fracking and the general digging up of our beautiful country and its offshore marine environment. The video was released last week.
While we could go on – and on – The Guardian’s summed it for us – . Blogger Graham Readfearn points out the irony of the moves by our Government to exploit what Key calls “our natural resources” – an irony that hasn’t escaped many of us here in NZ.
Some of the comments on the blog are telling:
Clearly tourism in NZ exists outside of the Lord of the Rings phenomenon. It is, after all, a fantastic country to visit.
However, how long will the tourism last if it ruins its environment through mineral extraction? And how long do you think those minerals will last? What then?
I really can’t understand why all these right wing politicians can only think of environmentally destructive and socially divisive ways of providing employment and earning money when their are so many environmentally constructive and socially enhancing alternatives.
To those who have visited our shores, the prospect of digging up NZ to sell it off to the highest international corporate bidder is clearly as bizarre a concept as it is to us.
Posted in climate negotiations, coal industry, John Key, mining, news stories, oil drilling, politics
Tagged coal, international reputation, john key, lord of the rings, new zealand, peter jackson, The Guardian, the hobbit, tourism
We post lots of information about specific campaigns on this blog, but we don’t often step back to look at the wider picture. This is a short introduction to Coal Action Network Aotearoa and its work in 2013, which you can also download in PDF format.
What is Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA)?
CANA is a national organisation working to phase out coal mining and coal usage in Aotearoa/NZ by 2027, initially by opposing new and expanded coal mines. We do this because we recognise the mining and burning of coal as the biggest threat to the world’s climate system. We want to be part of a just transition to a coal-free Aotearoa New Zealand.
What has CANA done to oppose coal mining so far?
Our major campaign so far has been against Solid Energy’s plans to mine and burn billions of tonnes of Southland lignite (brown coal). Now that Solid Energy has abandoned these plans, we continue to guard against other attempts to exploit Southland lignite.
We are also working on the following campaigns:
- Preventing Bathurst Resources, an Australian coal company that has relocated to New Zealand, from carrying out its plans to mine millions of tonnes of coal by despoiling the beautiful and biodiverse Denniston Plateau.
- Getting Fonterra (New Zealand’s third-biggest coal user after Huntly Power Station and NZ Steel) and other dairy companies to switch from using coal to using renewable sources of heat in their factories.
- Making investment in coal mining, and the industrial use of coal, culturally unacceptable and economically impossible. This includes a campaign to encourage institutional investors to divest from coal and other fossil fuels. It also includes campaigns against coal company sponsorships, and our work to ensure a just transition from coal mining jobs into low-carbon jobs.
How can I get involved with CANA’s work?
There is lots you can do, but here are the first steps towards getting involved:
There will be plenty of opportunities to help with the coal divestment campaign, and with our other campaigns, so make sure to join us!
Stockton Mine on the West Coast, Photo: Peter Lusk
As regular readers of this blog will know, Forest & Bird and the West Coast Environment Network have been fighting an epic legal battle to prevent Bathurst Resources getting its rapacious mitts on the Denniston Plateau. Bathurst wants to rip apart this beautiful and biodiverse part of the West Coast and turn it into an open cast coalmine – pretty much like Solid Energy’s Stockton coalmine, shown here. That would be a disaster for New Zealand wildlife – and for the climate.
I have been deeply impressed by the range and depth of the legal actions Forest and Bird and WCENT have come up with – but I’ve got to admit, I’ve also become more than a little confused at times about what appeals are being heard where. Now there’s no more need to be confused, because Debs Martin, Forest & Bird’s Top of the South Field Officer, has written a wonderful article for A Voice for Nature, the South Otago Forest & Bird Newsletter, explaining exactly where things are at with the legal process. You can download this excellent newsletter and get your head around the legal process from the South Otago Forest & Bird website.
But that’s not the only place you can learn about Denniston. As well as articles on the CANA blog, there’s another Denniston article in the June issue of the Coal Action Murihiku newsletter – the editorial hand of Jane Young is what these excellent publications have in common!
Finally, for comprehensive coverage, check out the Bathurst Resources section of the Coal Swarm wiki.