Biggest protest march in living memory - March Against Mining
"The Government's turnaround is a heartening example of people
power in action. This is a historic victory for the record number
of New Zealanders who stood up to protect our most treasured places
and for a vision of a truly sustainable and progressive 21st
century economy for New Zealand," says Greenpeace Senior Climate
Campaigner Simon Boxer.
"It is encouraging to see John Key respond clearly to the
overwhelming opposition by rejecting the most tangible example of
Gerry Brownlee's failing strategy of short term profit over
long-term environmental and economic prosperity," he says.
Greenpeace is now calling on Prime Minister John Key to take his
Government's turnaround to its logical conclusion, and start doing
what the rest of the world is doing - investing in the global
cleantech revolution rather than in climate-damaging fossil
"Clean technology represents a huge economic opportunity that
New Zealand simply can't afford to miss - a chance to achieve the
sort of sustainable growth and a knowledge-led economy that will be
the pillar of a 21st century green revolution. What we need from
John Key's Government is a clear commitment to investing in clean
technologies," Boxer says.
The overall annual market for renewable energy technologies will
increase from around US$100 billion today, to more than US$600
billion by 2030. That will result in savings on emissions, create
jobs, and lessen the inherent risks of fossil fuel exploration, as
being demonstrated by BP's Gulf oil disaster.
"There are already over 250 New Zealand companies pioneering
world class clean technology innovation from turning algae into
energy to developing new geothermal power stations . And there's
huge potential for this to grow with the right incentives and
government policies," Boxer says.
While Greenpeace regards the announcement as good news, the
organisation is very concerned that the government is still
planning to expand coal mining in the general conservation estate,
"The Government's plans to encourage an expansion in mining
lignite coal, coupled with its proposed deepwater offshore oil
drilling, are 19th century development strategies that are
completely incompatible with the necessary critical action on
climate change that we should be taking with the rest of the world.
New coal mining and oil drilling should be ditched with the
schedule 4 fiasco," says Boxer.
Greenpeace will continue to collect signatures on its
petition launched last month opposing the expansion of coal and
Greenpeace says Gerry Brownlee should not be given new powers to
jointly approve mines on public conservation land. "By his actions
he has shown that he and his ministry have no understanding of the
importance of New Zealand's outstanding natural areas," Boxer
Other contacts: Jay Harkness, Greenpeace NZ Communications and Media officer, on 021 495 216
Notes: (1) Cleantech New Zealand, Investment New Zealand, Feb 2010.