Press Release 19 March
Oil Free Wellington and other groups will be holding a rally for climate justice and a nonviolent blockade of the Oil Industry Summit, which is being held at the TSB Arena in Wellington on Tuesday March 27th.
Spokesperson James Barber says, “We need to take bold, collective action now to prevent catastrophic climate change and as such we’ll be getting in the way of the oil and gas industry by blockading their annual summit in Wellington.”
He continues, “The science is clear, to prevent catastrophic climate change we cannot burn all the fossil fuels which we’ve already found, let alone explore for more.”
The Oil Summit is an annual business conference held by the oil and gas industry. Over the last several years 40,000 square kilometres have been opened for exploration at the conference. Each year, however, it has faced increasing opposition, such as the blockade in New Plymouth Taranaki 2017, which stopped the conference for hours.
“Oil and gas business as usual cannot continue,” says James. “The world is already struggling to adapt to a changing climate. The government needs to stop handing out exploration permits, stop all existing exploration and drilling, and provide for a just transition for workers in the industry.
“The solutions to climate change must include and benefit the people most affected by it – Indigenous Peoples, people of colour and those struggling on low incomes. Those most affected by climate change are the least responsible for it,” says James.
“We are thrilled to be joined by a broad range of groups who’ve come from all over Aotearoa to protest the expansion of oil and gas in Aotearoa: Climate Justice Taranaki, Te Ara Whatu, Pacific Panthers, 350 Aotearoa, Pacific Climate Warriors, Auckland Peace Action, Peace Action Wellington, People Against Prisons Aotearoa, Oil Free Otago, Catholic Workers, Indigenous Peoples Uprising and Te Ikaroa.
“We’re shocked that the Summit is being held in a council-owned venue, particularly since Mayor Justin Lester has previously committed to ethical guidelines for events taking place in council venues,” said James. The location of the Summit had been kept secret by PEPANZ.
“We’d invite everyone in Aotearoa to come down and join us to stand up for climate justice. There will never be a better time to take action than now. You can be part of making a better future for all of us.”
The Rally for Climate Justice is calling for
- the government to start listening and end the annual block offers, commit to no new gas and oil exploration permits, stop existing drilling and prospecting for oil and gas, stop subsidising the industry and commit to a just transition for workers.
- The oil and gas industries to stop drilling and prospecting; clean up the damage you have caused and listen to, and make amends to, the communities you’ve harmed.
- The people of Aotearoa to join with us to stand up for climate justice – demand that global solutions to climate change centre and support those who bear the brunt of it, such as Indigenous Peoples and the working class.