Date: 11 May 2019
Author: Vegan Society
Call for the NZ government to declare a climate emergency says the Vegan Society Aotearoa. We were interested to hear about the Zero Carbon Bill, hoping that it would show leadership for the world on how we tackle our emissions. Unfortunately, the Bill does not go far enough to actually make much difference. In spite of a 70% increase in dairy cow numbers over the last decade, the Bill does not suggest a reduction of stock, and barely a reduction in methane emissions, just 10%! This lack of action is exactly why we need to declare a climate emergency. The UK has listened to its citizens and declared a climate emergency, following declarations by the Welsh and Scottish parliaments and actions of the Extinction Rebellion In the light of evidence that last week’s Ministry for the Environment report shows that New Zealand is woeful in it’s protection of the environment, with many rivers and waterways polluted, in part due to excess dairying in particular regions. It shows that we are simply not doing enough to protect our part of the world. The UN report, The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, draws on nearly 15,000 references including scientific papers and government data. It is based on the work of 150 scientists saying that we are currently in a mass extinction and shows that we need to act fast if we want a future for the next generations of humans. Our government is paying too much heed to the farming industry and not enough heed to the actions needed to save the human race. Climate change and the mass extinction of over a million species are the intertwined results of human activity that is working against nature. We need to do more to mitigate our climate change emissions, including methane, the bigger threat to the climate than carbon dioxide. “It is the next biggest inconvenient truth… eating animals is causing habitat loss, driving climate change and the 6th mass extinction wave. What can we do? The answer is simple: go vegan and plant trees!” says Claire Insley of the Vegan Society Aotearoa New Zealand. “We are here to help individuals make the transition to veganism, you don’t have to do it all in one day. Why not be like Gareth Hughes MP and try our 21 day easy vegan challenge,www.tryvegan.org.nz? He was inspired so much by it that he has decided to go vegan.” We have to have urgent action from individuals and the government to help protect the planet for the future. A Finnish University has produced a roadmap for the rebuilding of our planet’s environment, for all governments and individuals to follow. Reports have shown that 1.2 trillion trees need to be planted to remove the carbon dioxide from the last decade’s global emissions. The solutions to our climate emergency are here already, we just need to follow them.