BACKGROUND

In March, our Government and oil delegates from around the world will be meeting in Taranaki, New Zealand, to discuss oil exploration and drilling opportunities here. The extraction and burning of oil, gas and coal is radically changing our climate and environment, but together we can stop this destruction. Join us in Taranaki for peaceful protest, workshops, and music. Together with tens of thousands of people taking action all around the world to stop big oil this March, we can end the era of dirty energy and bring about just transition to a sustainable future.

Why we’ve come together to take action

Because climate.

We are in the midst of a climate emergency. Last year was the hottest on record and a new high for the third year running. In fact, according to scientific research, the world hasn’t been this warm for 115,000 years. Already we’re starting to experience unprecedented droughts, floods, extreme weather and rising seas. The impact of climate change in New Zealand is set to wreak havoc on our farming sector, critical infrastructure, native forests, endangered wildlife, health and food security.

This is no longer an issue for future generations to deal with. It’s happening right now, and it’s about us.

Our new climate reality demands immediacy, ambition, and action.

We need to keep oil, gas and coal in the ground

The major cause of climate change is the burning of coal, oil and gas (aka ‘fossil fuels’) by power stations, the transport sector and industries like agriculture. Climate science tells us that not one new coal mine, oil well or gas field can operate anywhere in the world if we’re to have a chance of surviving a climate catastrophe and passing on a planet that our children can live on.

Meanwhile, in New Zealand, the Government is continuing to push for more dirty fuel exploration, spending millions of taxpayer dollars on research for the petroleum industry and sponsoring major conferences to attract international oil and gas companies.

At the same time, it’s refusing to provide backing to a clean energy future and has ignored the massive job creation and economic boost this investment would bring.

This is bad, very bad, because bets are on that our current  scorching records will become the new norm in New Zealand by 2025.

To read more about climate change in New Zealand, click here.

Why Taranaki and why now?

Every year the Government invites international oil bigwigs to a Petroleum Summit. And every year, they face peaceful resistance, including hikoi and marches of more than 5,000 people. Last year, a blockade outside Auckland’s SkyCity delayed the start of the conference by several hours.

These peaceful protests are working. The conference has now been moved to Taranaki - the centre of the New Zealand oil and gas industry - in what can only be seen as a retreat to 'safe territory'.

The story of oil exploration in Taranaki stretches back 150 years, and currently, oil and gas are produced from 20 on and offshore fields in the region. The controversial Hydraulic Fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, is used routinely at well sites.

To read more about the situation in Taranaki, click here.

As hundreds of oil industry delegates descend on New Plymouth, New Zealanders from all walks of life will come together to peacefully resist the dirty energy industry and demand a just transition to a sustainable future.

We can change things around here

By taking immediate action, we really are changing the world. Transitioning to clean and sustainable energy is not only possible - it’s already happening globally.

Last year, renewables, led by wind and solar, represented more than half of the world’s new power capacity, and the International Energy Agency has said that renewables will remain the fastest growing source of electricity generation globally.

Here in New Zealand, we are blessed with rich renewable energy resources. With little effort, over 80 percent of our electricity is already derived from renewable sources.

But with a bit more investment, support and vision, it’s entirely possible for us to build an economy based on 100% renewable energy.  In doing so, we would create strong local industries and tens of thousands of jobs stemming from clean energy technologies.

This includes from within New Zealand’s biggest industry and biggest polluter, agriculture, which must urgently transition away from its reliance on fossil fuels and petrochemicals.

And all of this could be bolstered by a mindshift change towards energy conservation. By implementing more efficient use of energy across transport, business, homes and products, we could make massive changes to the way we power our country.

We have the natural resources, people and technology to make this happen.

So now let’s make it happen!

Who is organising this event?

The People's Climate Rally is being organised by a coalition of groups including Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack Free, Greenpeace New Zealand, Ngatiawa ki Taranaki Trust, Oil Free groups, Parihaka, Pacific Panthers, and 350 Aotearoa.

The event is part of a global fortnight of action known as ‘Break Free’, which will see tens of thousands of people joining forces across the world to protect our communities from climate catastrophe, and from the fossil fuel corporations that have polluted our air, grabbed our land, and captured governments.