Greenpeace New Zealand has labeled Trump “morally bankrupt” over his decision abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, and is calling on Prime Minister Bill English to stand with other world leaders and speak out against the move.

Climate campaigner, Kate Simcock, says Trump’s posture will prove impotent in the face of an unstoppable global movement for bringing an end to the age of fossil fuels.

“This is a morally-bankrupt decision that Trump will come to regret. Global climate action is not a legal or political debate, it is an inescapable obligation to protect people and planet.

“The world is moving forward without the US, who has now essentially surrendered any global leadership. We are witnessing a huge shift in the global order as countries like Europe and China begin to lead the way forward,” she says.

“Leaders everywhere have reacted strongly to Trump’s isolationist stance, and indicated that his mad agenda actually encourages them to break away from fossil fuels even faster.”

“It’s time for our Prime Minister to show show some moral courage and step up to the plate to stand with world leaders who are committing to take urgent climate action. He could begin by stopping any new oil exploration.

“Denying climate change and the rapid rise of clean energy is desperate and futile. The world is already making the transition at breakneck speed. Renewables now make up more than half of the world’s new power capacity (1), and are growing by the day.

“We’ve seen tens of millions of people around the world march, blockade and take action to demand this transition, and political leaders are listening. Trump’s decision is not going to stop the other 193 nations that accept the science of climate change and are signed up to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The Fossil Fuel President is impotent when it comes to halting renewables. The global economy’s transition to clean energy cannot be reversed.”

Simcock says the timing of Trump’s decision is especially pertinent for New Zealand because the world’s biggest seismic surveying ship, the Amazon Warrior, is currently blasting for oil off the Wairarapa Coast on behalf of oil giants Statoil and Chevron.

Not only does Trump have investments in Chevron, but Chevron was a major funder of his presidential inauguration.

In April, Greenpeace took its newly crowdfunded boat, Taitu, on a three-day journey to stop the Amazon Warrior from seismic blasting.

The protest saw three activists, including Greenpeace NZ executive director Russel Norman, put themselves in the water in front of the ship, forcing it to halt its operations.

For the first time in New Zealand history, the protestors have been charged with interfering with an oil exploration ship under Section 101B(1)(c) of the Crown Minerals Act, known as the Anadarko Amendment.

The trio were served the charges not by the police, but by MBIE – the petroleum division of the Government. They each face fines of up to $50,000 and 12 months in prison if convicted.

“This monster of a seismic blasting ship is out here in our pristine oceans doing Trump’s dirty work,” says Simcock.

“The New Zealand Government must stop their mad search for oil that we cannot afford to burn if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. New Zealand has Paris Climate Agreement obligations to fulfil, and if our Government persists with its reckless oil exploration, then we have a moral duty to act.”

Next Tuesday the US Secretary of State – former ExxonMobil boss, Rex Tillerson, is arriving in Wellington.  

Large-scale protests are being planned outside Parliament.