The Future is Equal

climate

Reaction to Government update on agriculture emissions

In reaction to today’s update on agriculture emissions, Oxfam Aotearoa’s Climate Justice Lead Nick Henry, said:

“We are frustrated that the Government is not taking climate destruction seriously enough. We should be aiming for the lowest possible climate pollution, not the lowest possible price on agricultural emissions.

“While we welcome Aotearoa New Zealand’s pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030, these current proposals to price agricultural emissions are estimated to reduce methane emissions by only around 4%. It doesn’t add up.

“The experts have spoken: reducing methane pollution now, as part of reducing total carbon emissions, is essential to avoiding the climate crisis getting worse for us here in Aotearoa, for our friends and whānau in the Pacific, and around the world.

“The Government needs to support our farmers to do their fair share of reducing climate pollution by fully pricing emissions and funding a shift to regenerative low emissions agriculture.”

Oxfam Aotearoa calls for:

  • A pricing system that ensures agriculture contributes a fair share of the emission reductions needed to meet our domestic and international commitments, including the Global Methane Pledge.
  • Emissions need to be priced now, not 2025.
  • The government must scrap the 95 percent discount – the agriculture industry should be paying their fair share.
  • The government needs to invest in equipping farmers to shift production modes and adjust land use to build a flourishing, regenerative organic food and fibre sector.

Reaction: Lawyers for Climate Action v Climate Change Commission verdict

The NZ Climate Action Network, a network of individual organisations that work together to tackle climate change, react to the Lawyers for Climate Action v Climate Change Commission verdict:

Cindy Baxter, Coal Action Network Aotearoa spokesperson said: 

“What’s shocking in this decision is the Court’s ruling that the 1.5˚C warming limit in the Zero Carbon Act is not legally binding. We call on the government to change the Act accordingly, and on the Climate Change Commission to deliver advice as to how we get there, which it clearly has not done.

“The central issue in this court case is the creative accounting around emissions deployed by the New Zealand Government, an accounting system that makes our 2030 emissions reduction target look like a 50% cut when in fact it’s only 22%. We need more transparency around our accounting system.”

Christine Rose, Greenpeace senior agriculture campaigner said:

“This case has highlighted this government’s failure to actively protect the basic right of a safe and stable climate for all. Intensive dairying threatens this right, being to New Zealand what coal is to Australia and tar sands are to Canada. If this Government is serious about tackling the climate crisis, it must do what we already know will cut climate pollution from intensive dairying: phase out synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, substantially reduce stocking rates, and support farmers to shift to more plant-based regenerative organic farming.”

Nick Henry, Oxfam Aotearoa climate justice lead said:

“The law may not have forced the government to act consistently with the science today, but ultimately, the science will force us to act or suffer the consequences. Emissions must be cut in half globally, quickly, to avoid devastating impacts on all of humanity.   

“We can only limit the worst impacts of climate destruction – the impact to homes, to the food we grow, and the places we love – if we take action at the scale necessary to keep global heating to within 1.5 degrees. 

Dr Jim Salinger, Wise Response Society deputy chair said:

“We know that climate change is here. What was a river delta and the breadbasket of Pakistan is now a lake; a third of the country is under water and millions of people are displaced. Closer to home, Nelson has suffered one-in-a-hundred-year flooding accompanied by slips, erosion, wastewater pollution, and losses of hundreds of homes and other infrastructure that will take decades to fix. 

“Dangerous climate extremes will continue to become more frequent and more extreme with each fraction of a degree the mean global surface temperature rises. New Zealand has committed to doing its part to mitigate climate change. This means real action to cut emissions, across all sectors of society, and it means calculating our carbon budgets using internationally respectable accounting methods.”

Together, these organisations call on the government to revise its emissions budgets in line with the science, and to urgently bring in the following policies to cut emissions: 

  • A proper price on agricultural emissions that will reduce pollution in line with the science of 1.5°C  
  • A significant reduction in synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use and a $1 billion investment in regenerative, organic farming    
  • No new fossil fuel vehicles by 2030, and free public transport for community service cardholders, under 25s and tertiary students  
  • Ending new oil, coal and gas exploration on Aotearoa soil and seas or extensions of current permits.

Loss and damage fund at COP27 a monumental win, if properly funded

Responding to the final communiqué of the COP27 climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam International’s Executive Director, said:

“The establishment of a loss and damage fund is a monumental achievement for vulnerable developing countries and communities at the frontlines of the climate crisis. They have been calling for funding to cope with the devastating impacts of climate change for over 30 years.

“Given the urgency on the ground, the fund must be operationalised as soon as possible. Rich countries largely responsible for warming our planet should immediately mobilise substantial new and additional resources to pay for climate-related damage in vulnerable countries.

“In East Africa, nearly 40 million people are experiencing climate-induced hunger. Recent catastrophic floods in Pakistan have inflicted more than US$30 billion in damages and economic losses and left 10 to 12 percent of the country’s land area under water, affecting more than 33 million people. The list of extreme weather events and disasters is growing, as are the devastating impacts on communities.

“While we applaud the establishment of the loss and damage fund, we remain deeply concerned about countries’ failure to agree on an equitable and urgent phase-out of all fossil fuels. The world is on track for a catastrophic 2.8°C of warming.

“Rich countries, especially the US and those in the EU, have failed to use their power and resources to meet their fair share of responsibility and their moral and legal obligations. Rich countries and many middle-income countries that have the ability to do so are not transitioning away from fossil fuels fast enough to keep warming below 1.5°C, leading to more losses, damages and suffering. Rich countries are not providing the necessary finance to support developing countries to leapfrog to renewable energy.

“Rich countries have broken their US$100 billion climate finance promise and successfully blocked language at COP27 that would have required them to compensate for earlier shortfalls through increased climate finance in subsequent years. Climate finance is needed in the trillions for adaptation and mitigation. Given their responsibility for the climate crisis, rich countries at least could have provided a clear roadmap on how to deliver the US$600 billion they had promised between 2020 and 2025.

“We are also dismayed by the discussions to enhance the Gender Action Plan, which was at the heart of the UNFCCC processes for gender-responsive climate action. Gender was only marginally mentioned, if at all, in the climate talks’ decisions.

“The climate crisis is about inequality and injustice. Communities at the frontlines of the climate crisis are bearing the heaviest brunt of climate-induced disasters, in addition to multiple crises including conflict, loss of livelihoods, and economic shocks. World leaders must push political differences aside and put the needs of these communities first.”

Popular NZ fashion brands get 5 star rating from Oxfam

Today Oxfam Aotearoa launched the world-famous campaign, What She Makes. The campaign is about asking fashion brands to pay the women overseas who make our clothes a living wage.

Oxfam Aotearoa engaged with four New Zealand founded brands, Glassons, Hallenstein Bros, Kathmandu and Macpac, and two international brands H&M and Lululemon. Today Oxfam released the results of the first step in the process: a credible commitment towards paying workers in their supply chain a living wage.

Glassons, Hallenstein Bros, and Macpac came out on top with a 5 star rating. H&M received 4 stars, Lululemon received 3 stars and New Zealand brand Kathmandu received 2.5 stars.

Oxfam Aotearoa’s What She Makes Lead Tracy Decena said:

“We want to create a race to the top between fashion brands – starting with a real, credible public commitment towards paying the women overseas who make their clothes a living wage. It’s encouraging to see New Zealand founded brands leading the race. Even though some brands did better than others, we want to acknowledge that every brand made some progress. Yet, there is much more to be done, and you can bet we’ll be there supporting and pushing these brands towards the end goal.

“The women making our clothes often work up to 12 hours a day and then extra overtime, but because they make as little as 65 cents an hour, they don’t have enough money for decent housing, food or healthcare – let alone any savings. We are working to change this.

“We encourage our supporters, fashion lovers, and anyone who believes poverty can be a thing of the past to join us by signing the pledge and demanding fashion brands to do better.”

 

The What She Makes Brand Tracker

For rating and rationale head to https://www.oxfam.org.nz/what-she-makes-brand-tracker/

Our ask of New Zealanders

Oxfam Aotearoa will be asking Kiwis to let brands know they want them to do better, and to stand with the women who make their clothes. They can start by joining the campaign and signing the pledge through: https://www.oxfam.org.nz/what-she-makes-sign-the-pledge/.

Our ask of the brands

The What She Makes campaign calls on clothing brands that sell clothes here in Aotearoa New Zealand to make sure the garment workers in their supply chains are paid a living wage. Oxfam Aotearoa will work with six brands: Glassons, Hallenstein Brothers, H&M, Kathmandu, Lululemon, and Macpac. We asked them to take the first step of their living wage journeys: commit to paying workers in their supply chain a living wage. We’ll work with the brands to get them to there, and publish their progress (or lack of progress) regularly.

Oxfam reaction: NZ wins Fossil of the Day award at COP27

Fossil of the Day award


Climate Action Network International has awarded the New Zealand government the
Fossil of the Day award at COP27 for opposing an agreement to establish a loss and damage finance facility this year. 

This comes less than a week after the Government repurposed $20 million of its existing climate finance for adaptation and mitigation, for loss and damage. 

Oxfam Aotearoa’s climate justice lead Nick Henry said: 

“This is one award not to be proud of. Our government blocking urgently needed action on loss and damage is frankly not what we expect from a government that says it’s at the leading edge of loss and damage funding.  

“Our government should be standing with Pacific nations at COP27 who are calling for a global fund to address the loss and damage they are experiencing due to climate change. This is a global problem that communities on the frontlines are experiencing right now. A decision is needed now, not in a year.”  

Oxfam in the Pacific’s project coordinator in Vanuatu George Koran says that it is indigenous communities who suffer from rich governments’ inaction: 

“We see the impacts of climate destruction across the Pacific, in Vanuatu and now even in Aotearoa. People in the most vulnerable situations, those who do not have the capacity to adapt, suffer the consequences. The New Zealand Government say they understand the urgent need for loss and damage funds, and yet, we are not seeing any real action. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul – we need new and additional funding from our neighbours to fight this crisis.” 

Henry said: “We call on the New Zealand Government to back-up their acknowledgement that loss and damage needs funding by supporting a new loss and damage finance facility. This will help ensure that finance to address loss and damage is accessible and sustained and is delivered in accordance with the principles of climate justice. New Zealand can pledge our $20 million allocation to the new facility.” 

ENDS

 

 

Oxfam reacts to NZ Government’s biofuel obligation

The Government’s biofuel obligation risks doing more harm than good for the climate and global hunger, said Nick Henry, Climate Justice Lead at Oxfam Aotearoa: 

“We welcome the decision to rule out the use of palm and soy oil and to limit the use of food and feed to produce biofuel. But this does not go far enough. As our recent briefing paper details, all crop-based biofuels contribute to the increasing levels of hunger across the world. 

“Under a similar system in the EU, Europe is burning 17,000 tonnes of rapeseed and sunflower oil per day – the equivalent of 19 million 1L bottles every day – that could be used for food. What’s more, if the Government move ahead with its mandate, it will contribute to land use changes around the world which are extremely harmful to local communities and to the climate. 

“Minister Woods is clearly committed to managing the impacts of transport on the environment. We acknowledge changes have been made to improve the biofuel obligation, but it is crucial Minister Woods goes further to reduce the serious harm a biofuels obligation can have on people and planet. The Government must rule out using any food crops and have strict standards to not only protect the environment, but also human rights. 

“We look forward to working with the Government to inform and improve its approach to sustainable transport.” 

/ENDS

Notes 

Oxfam Aotearoa briefing paper on biofuels: https://www.oxfam.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Dont-Burn-Food-Policy-Briefing.pdf  

According to the European Federation for Transport and Environment, 18 percent of the world’s vegetable oil production goes to biodiesel. Nearly all of this is fit for human consumption. In recent years, Europe put 58 percent of all rapeseed and 9 percent of all sunflower oil consumed in the region into its cars and trucks. See: https://www.transportenvironment.org/discover/food-vs-fuel-europe-burns-19-million-bottles-of-sunflower-and-rapeseed-oil-every-day-in-cars/