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Ghost of Christmas future visits Fonterra

7 Dec

Auckland Coal Action demonstrated outside Fonterra’s head office in Auckland yesterday against the company’s continued reliance on coal-fired boilers at its dairy factories around the country. The protest caught the eye of passers-by, many stopping to take photos of Fonterra’s “climate ambassador”.

Fonterra, New Zealand’s second largest coal user, claims it will quit coal, but its progress to date is much to slow.  Its current targets of “no new coal boilers installed from 2030”, and a 30% emissions reduction by that date, are way too slow to protect us from the serious consequences of climate change.

Auckland Coal Action calls on Fonterra to make these commitments:

  • No new coal-fired equipment to be installed.
  • Existing coal-fired boilers to be steadily phased out and replaced with alternatives using sustainable fuels.
  • IPCC target of 67% reduction in coal emissions by 2030 to be adopted and complied with.

We need action starting right now, not in 2030.

 

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Mining industry delegates greeted by protesters on tour of Rotowaru and K1

18 Sep

Delegates from the AusIMM (Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy) conference were taken on a field trip to Rotowaro and Maramarua (K1) mines on Sunday 16 September.

At both venues they were met by protesters with the clear message that the coal must be kept underground for the sake of the climate.

This action was a joint effort between Auckland Coal Action, Coal Action Network Aotearoa with support also from Auckland Peace Action and Auckland 350.org.

The conference is being held in Tauranga on Monday and Tuesday of this week. 

 

The reception for mining industry delegates at Rotowaro Mine

At the gates of K1 Mine, Maramarua

Cows protest Fonterra’s lack of climate action

26 Jul

Press release 26/07/18

A herd of bellowing cows have joined a protest on busy Fanshawe St today, outside Fonterra’s Auckland Office, calling for it to stop sitting on the fence with regard to climate change, and to start taking urgent action to reduce its climate-wrecking emissions from coal burning. Protesters are from Auckland Coal Action, and other local groups that are highly concerned.

Fonterra presents itself as an environmentally friendly business and has joined the recently-formed Climate Leaders Coalition business group. But Auckland Coal Action spokesperson, Peter Whitmore, says that, based on available information, New Zealand’s second largest coal user still has not taken any meaningful steps to reduce its emissions by switching to sustainable fuels or to other processing methods in its major dairy factories.

“The need to rapidly phase out of coal use has now been clearly articulated by many scientists over a long period”, says Whitmore. “It is over 10 years since leading climate scientist, James Hansen, said that to maintain a liveable planet coal must be phased out in developed countries by 2025 and in developing countries by 2030, a finding that has also been backed up by more recent studies.”

“It is essential for industry to do its part so that this country can meet the internationally agreed Paris objective of holding global warming to under 2°C, and preferably to under 1.5°C”, says Whitmore. “Fonterra needs to step up by urgently phasing out all its coal-fired boilers, with the aim of none being operational after 2025 and definitely not after 2030”, he says. This is a challenge, but the assessment of his Auckland Coal Action group and others is that it is achievable, if Fonterra starts right now.

This is also a challenge that Fonterra must not shirk as we are already seeing serious impacts of climate change occurring globally.

ENDS

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Spokesperson
Peter Whitmore
Auckland Coal Action
021 457 465

 

Fonterra Sustainability Effort is “Pants”

1 Dec

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Fonterra’s greenwash exposed by Auckland Coal Action protest 
Auckland Coal Action members did street theatre today outside Fonterra’s Fanshawe St headquarters in protest against Fonterra’s increasing coal use in their factories. Fonterra now burns more coal than Huntly Power Station.The group says Fonterra’s claims of sustainability are greenwash. To illustrate this they painted “Fonterra Stop the Greenwash” on a giant pair of bloomers.

Fonterra relies heavily on coal in its dairy factories, despite the very high greenhouse gas emissions this fuel produces.

“Scientists are now saying that coal has to be phased out as early as 2030, and that no new coal-fired power plant should be built – from today,” said Geoff Mason of Auckland Coal Action.

“This should include Fonterra, a company that claims it’s committed to reducind its emissions and protecting the environment, yet its coal use has increased by around 38% since 2008, making it now New Zealand’s second largest coal user.”

Fonterra is  planning to building more coal-fired dairy factories, and a new coal mine has been opened in the Waikato to help meet the company’s ongoing coal demand.

He noted there was enough wood waste from forestry operations in New Zealand to power many of Fonterra’s factories. This fuel is now commonly used in Europe and Canada to fuel industrial boilers. It is almost carbon-neutral because re-planted trees absorb the CO2 produced. Fonterra also has other sustainable alternatives.

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Kopako 1 mine inspection

26 Jun

Images from Auckland Coal Action’s inspection of the Kopako 1 mine, near Maramarua.

Activists carry out Waikato coal mine inspection, leave climate message

26 Jun

Press release – Sunday 26 June 2016

A group of eight activists from Auckland Coal Action, many of them grandparents, today carried out an inspection of Solid Energy’s Kopako 1 coal mine in the Waikato to protest its redevelopment, and left a climate change message for the company.

The mine, near Maramarua, in North East Waikato, has been dormant since the 1990’s, but Solid Energy has now begun work to revive it.  The team confirmed after walking into the site today that not only has overburden been removed, but coal mining from a seam has begun.

“Solid Energy is undertaking extensive development of this old coal mine, despite having no customers for the coal, and the international industry being in terminal decline,” said one of the activists, Geoff Mason of Auckland Coal Action.

“Meanwhile, the Government has signed the Paris Agreement which means that we have to get out of coal by 2050, globally, which means coal like this has to stay in the ground.

The team walked into the mine site, and spent around an hour at the coalface, wrapping a excavator in “climate crime scene” tape confirming that new mining has removed the overburden and is now digging up coal. They deployed signs and banners, before leaving again.

Among the activists who inspected the mine today was Phil, a great grandparent.

“I am seriously concerned about a climate changed future for my five great grandchildren – this is why I am here today, to tell Solid Energy and the Government to stop wasting taxpayers’ money, and keep the coal in the hole,” she said.

Auckland Coal Action is also concerned that one of the potential customers for the mine could be Fonterra, the country’s second-largest user of coal.  Fonterra was planning to open its own coal mine at nearby Mangatawhiri, but has put those plans on permanent hold.

“Solid Energy might be eyeing Fonterra as a potential customer, but Fonterra should be looking at changing its energy source to renewable wood and biomass rather than coal,” said Geoff Mason.

“What is clear is that this mine should be kept out of commission – for the climate, for the local environment and for our future.”

Photos of the day in this post.

 

Auckland Anniversary Monday protest 3pm against reopening of coal mine at Mangatawhiri

24 Jan

Fonterra has indefinitely deferred opening of it’s new coal mine at Mangatawhiri, however we believe it plans to purchase coal from Solid Energy’s nearby Kopako coal mine, currently closed but soon to reopen thanks to Fonterra.

Auckland Coal Action says Fonterra should start switching their boilers to renewable, environmentally-friendly biomass sources such as wood waste.

This Auckland Anniversary Monday we will be back at  Mangatawhiri (only 45 minutes from the CBD) to make thousands of motorists returning to Auckland aware of the mine and increase pressure on Fonterra to keep it closed and clean up their act.

When?

Auckland Anniversary Monday 26 January, starting at 3pm

What?
Meet for a roadside rally against Fonterra’s proposed new coal mine.

Who?
Auckland Coal Action is calling for the public to join us to rally to protest Fonterra’s proposed new coal mine.

Where?
On the Auckland-bound side of State Highway 2 next to the site of the proposed new coal mine on the Mangatawhiri straight.

Meet after 2pm for roadside protest at the corner of Homestead Road (motorway overbridge) and Bell Road.

Coming from Auckland you will need to take the Mangatawhiri exit from State Highway 2 onto Mangatawhiri Road (incorrectly shown as Mangatangi Rd on Google Maps).

Coming from East, you will need to take the Golf Road exit.

meeting-points

What should I bring?

Sunblock, something to drink, rain gear and warm clothes. Check this website for updates.

We have heaps of large banners for you to hold up.

What will I do?

There will be lots of returning holiday crowds for you to interact with, Bored out of their minds sitting in the traffic and interested by anything you do, to bring attention to the danger of coal to the environment.

Can anyone come?
Yes. If you are returning from your holiday why not stop and join the rally? You will only be stuck in traffic anyway!

Support the campaign against new coal mines!

Contact Pat 021 066-9009 or Geoff (09)5289450 for carpooling / transport options.