“Right now” the time to make climate plans

Just Transition Summit delegates Tara and Tim Chadwick

Following the Taranaki 2050 Just Transition Summit, our delegates have been busy with meetings on their worksites to discuss what firms can do to reduce carbon emissions. The work, dubbed CPOW (Climate Proof our Work) is an initiative of the International Trade Union Congress to raise workers’ awareness of climate change.

Delegate Tim Chadwick met with his employers at the New Plymouth District Council’s wastewater plant and says council initiatives include building roads with plastic in the tar-seal and introducing electric-powered rubbish trucks, “in a really short timeframe”.

“The Council is definitely leaning into this. I was impressed,” says Tim.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with the E tū Just Transition team

Taranaki is serious about a Just Transition, with the Summit bringing together government, non-government organisations, and business, for an intense two days of innovative, provocative and challenging presentations.

“For somebody coming from a site as a delegate, to be around all the bigwigs, hearing the talk, it’s been quite impressive, you know, to see the powers that be talking to me in ways that I understand and seeing ways that it’s going to affect us in a very simple A to B kind of way – I’ve been pretty impressed by that,” says Mark Anderson, delegate at OceanaGold in Waihi.

Most delegates report a surge of hope post-Summit.

“I believe it’s a beginning and I feel it’s a strong beginning,” says McKechnie delegate Leilani Bennett. “I think from here we actually need specifics and that’s what I’d like to see come out of the next phase of this.”

Balance Nutrients delegate Sean Hindson agrees: “We needs specifics and to get some legislation passed, so we know that this is going to be a reality instead of just a yarn between a few people. But all in all, it’s been very, very positive.”