Topic: Environment

Protesters send message to Govt and US on Paris Climate Agreement

By Ani-Oriwia Adds

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was greeted by over 300 climate change action protesters on his arrival to New Zealand. It follows Trump's latest move to pull out of the Climate Change Paris agreement.

Protest group 350 Aotearoa gathered outside Parliament to protest US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Wellington.

Pacific regional coordinator  for Koreti Tiumalu says, “We in the Pacific are trying so hard to keep our islands above water we need to work together as indigenous, hold ceremonies to pay and to give back to the land that has been so ripped apart." Board Member Mahinaarangi Baker says, “We just don’t accept that’s the policy decision being made by Trump and we are demanding there are real effects for our whānau here. We are demanding that the government actually speak out in opposition to the decision that Trump made.”

The protest is a rapid response to the news of Donald Trump withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and the NZ government's weak response.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says, “How they have a good environment and that signing that specific contract won’t help.”

Globally, world leaders have publicly denounced Trump's withdrawal, however, PM Bill English has remained very quiet, and the government's Climate Change spokesperson Paula Bennett has said that she respected Trump's decision.

Baker says, “We want our government to show some stronger commitment and to stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry. Follow the lead of the other international leader who have moved towards a low carbon economy.”

350 Aotearoa say that English needs to choose what side of history he's on when it comes to climate change, on the right side of history, or the Trump side of history.