Monthly Archives: October 2013

As Environment Court approves Denniston mine, all eyes on Westpac

UPDATE: Next Wednesday lunchtime in Wellington (13/11), help us tell Westpac to stop funding coal mining on the Denniston Plateau: https://www.facebook.com/events/218849471621945/

DumpDennistonLogoCoal

Press Release
In the wake of the Environment Court’s approval of Bathurst’s opencast mine on the beautiful Denniston plateau, 350 Aotearoa and Coal Action Network Aotearoa today renewed their call for Westpac Bank to drop its support for the mine.

Already, more than 800 people have sent letters to Westpac as part of the “Westpac dump Denniston coal” campaign, launched last week in Auckland. This week saw a temporary “climate change crime scene” outside a main Westpac branch in Wellington catching the eye of lunchtime passersby, and many similar protests are expected to roll out across the country in the coming weeks as the campaign picks up. Continue reading

Advertisements

Let’s Talk Divestment! Public Forum, Wellington, 6 November, 6pm

The campaign to get investors to divest from fossil fuels, kicked off so spectacularly by the Anglican Church last month,  has taken another step  with the launch of a series of “Let’s Talk Divestment!” forums around the country, organised by 350 Aotearoa. After a successful first forum is in Auckland, the Wellington forum is next:

wellington_divestment_forum

When: Wednesday 6 November, 6-8pm

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Speakers:

Dr Russel Norman- Co-Leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa

Rod Oram (video-link)- Business Journalist and Commentator

Ashlee Gross- 350 Aotearoa National Coordinator

What’s it about?

What is divestment? What will it contribute to the movement for a healthy climate and sustainable future? What are the alternatives and how can we demand divestment of institutions? Come to one of the events nearest to you – hear the financial experts explaining the financial case of fossil fuel divestment, NZ community members telling about local climate change impacts, climate action leaders sharing stories about previous and future actions, and find out how can you be part of it.

More information and Facebook signups

Southland coal looks set to stay in the hole as briquette plant mothballed

 

Coal Action Network activist at Mataura briquetting plant

Coal Action Network activist at Mataura briquetting plant

16 October 2013– Coal activists are cheering today at the news that Solid Energy and GLT Ltd are mothballing the lignite briquette plant in Mataura, Southland, and said they were confident that a final decision later this month would shut it for good.

This is the final nail hammered into the coffin of Solid Energy’s grandiose plans to turn farmland into an open-cast lignite mine: a multi-billion dollar plan to use some of the world’s dirtiest coal to convert into diesel, urea, and into highly experimental “briquettes.” (see Solid Energy history, below).

“This is a great day for the climate – Southland’s coal is being kept right where it should be – in the hole, propping up beautiful, fertile farmland,” said Rosemary Penwarden of Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA). Continue reading

Westpac: Dump Denniston

dump_denniston_logo_smallToday CANA and 350 have jointly launched a campaign to persuade Westpac to stop lending to Bathurst Resources.

Bathurst Resources wants to turn the spectacular Denniston Plateau into a large open cast coal mine. And Westpac is helping to finance them.

Westpac’s financing helps Bathurst Resources pursue their plans to mine up to 84 million tonnes of coal on the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau and along the adjacent Buller plateau. This would put another 218 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.  

Tell Westpac you want them to stop funding climate change, especially coal mining on the Denniston Plateau.

Act Now To Save Denniston

Use this easy online form to send a letter to Westpac now.

Tell them to call in their loan and stop extending financing to Bathurst Resources Ltd. Continue reading

Let’s Talk Divestment! Public Forums: Auckland, 15 October, 6pm – Others To Follow

The campaign to get investors to divest from fossil fuels, kicked off so spectacularly by the Anglican Church last month,  takes another step next week with the launch of a series of “Let’s Talk Divestment!” forums around the country, organised by 350 Aotearoa. The first forum is in Auckland:

Let's Talk Divestment! Auckland Forum

When: Tuesday 15 October, 6-8pm

Where: Lecture Theatre 401, Building 401, 20 Symonds St, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Auckland

Speakers:

Matheson Russell – Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Auckland (involved in the divestment campaign within the Anglican Church)

Rodger Spiller – Responsible Investment Association

Jeanette Fitzsimmons- Former co-leader of the Green Party and Coal Action Network Aotearoa organising group member

Ashlee Gross- 350 National Coordinator

What’s it about?

What is divestment? What will it contribute to the movement for a healthy climate and sustainable future? What are the alternatives and how can we demand divestment of institutions? Come to one of the events nearest to you – hear the financial experts explaining the financial case of fossil fuel divestment, NZ community members telling about local climate change impacts, climate action leaders sharing stories about previous and future actions, and find out how can you be part of it.

More information and Facebook signups

Future forums

Is this what the phase-out of coal looks like?

Jeanette Fitzsimons writes:

Don Elder and Bill English - when they used to smile at each other - turning the sod for Solid's failed lignite briquetting plant

Don Elder and Bill English – back when they used to smile at each other – turning the sod for Solid Energy’s failed lignite briquetting plant

So we finally have the Government’s plan to restructure finances of the heavily indebted Solid Energy. There were only ever two main paths.

The first was liquidation, with the liquidator selling assets (mainly current mines and permits) to pay some of the debts. There are no obvious NZ buyers with the cash, so these mines would have gone to Australian, Chinese, Indian investors with the capital to buy them and expand further.

The second had to involve quite a lot of taxpayer money to enable Solid to keep trading as a State Owned Enterprise. After all, we the public own Solid Energy so we own its debts and their $389 million of debt is actually our debt, unfair as that is to those of us who have opposed their adventures all the way. When a country starts defaulting on its debts nasty things can follow. Continue reading

TPPA Opponents Launch New Campaign: Get Involved!

The US Government is currently putting intense pressure on its 11 Asia-Pacific negotiating ‘partners’ to finalise the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

This agreement, being negotiated in secrecy and with no chance for effective public or even Parliamentary input, has serious implications for New Zealand sovereignty if passed – including the ability for a future Government to pass effective environmental legislation that displeases foreign investors. Further good reasons to oppose the TPPA are listed below.

You won’t be surprised to learn that the current National Government strongly supports the TPPA. Elements of the Labour Party also support it, though David Cunliffe has recently signalled that Labour will take a more critical stance. The Greens are strongly opposed. Continue reading