Green lead­ers: Four in­spi­ra­tional Ki­wis.............

El­e­ment’s pick of the bright young peo­ple forg­ing a new or­der.

Element - - CONTENTS -

Phoebe Balle

Gen­er­a­tion Zero, Auck­land

To Auck­lan­der Phoebe Balle, the Waitakere bush formed a huge part of her iden­tity grow­ing up. An eco-war­rior since the ten­der age of five, when she rescued a river in

the Ranges from pol­lu­tion by lit­tered-nappy (a feat in­volv­ing an­kle-dan­gling over a wa­ter­fall), she at­tended the Make A Dif­fer­ence (MAD) marine youth lead­er­ship in her sev­enth form year, which “aroused my la­tent en­viro-dae­mon within”. Stum­bling across

Gen­er­a­tion Zero af­ter an overseas so­journ, Balle knew she had really come home. “Gen­er­a­tion Zero is a cor­ner­stone of the Youth Cli­mate Move­ment of Aotearoa. We are

a bustling wh nau of col­lab­o­ra­tive, so­lu­tions-fo­cused youth from across the coun­try who see the op­por­tu­nity cli­mate change presents to re­design New Zealand’s po­lit­i­cal

pri­or­i­ties and cul­tural fab­ric”. We are at the cross­roads, says Balle, and we have a chance to build an ex­cit­ing fu­ture. “I have a vi­sion of see­ing fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of kiwi kids brag­ging to each other

about how their an­ces­tors were pioneers of the de­cen­tralised cross-par­ti­san, mul­ti­eth­nic na­tional cli­mate move­ment that suc­cess­fully re­minded the peo­ple about what

really un­der­pins ev­ery­thing we hold dear in the world”. When not fling­ing her arms wide and spin­ning Julie-An­drews style in the Meola

mud­flats, Balle stud­ies ecol­ogy, so­ci­ol­ogy and te reo at Auck­land Univer­sity.

Aaron Packard

Ocea­nia re­gional co­or­di­na­tor, 350.org

Aaron Packard first learned about an­thro­pogenic cli­mate change while dab­bling in ecol­ogy and devel­op­ment stud­ies at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity. The con­fus­ing fig­ures and graphs sur­round­ing cli­mate change mo­ti­vated him to make it user-friendly, al­low­ing peo­ple to en­gage “in a way that was fun and un­der­stand­able”. Af­ter com­plet­ing his Masters he joined up to 350.org in 2008. “It seemed like a per­fect fit. [350.org] were tak­ing an ob­scure num­ber re­lated to cli­mate change (350 be­ing the safe con­cen­tra­tion of car­bon diox­ide in the at­mos­phere), and aim­ing to make it one of the most well-known num­bers in ev­ery cor­ner of the world”. Packard now works as the Ocea­nia Re­gional Co­or­di­na­tor for 350.org and is es­pe­cially passionate about work­ing in the Pa­cific Is­lands and lev­er­ag­ing Pa­cific voices in the in­ter­na­tional arena. “The gen­er­a­tion of young peo­ple liv­ing in many of the Pa­cific Is­lands now are fac­ing a fu­ture where they’ll lose their homes in the coming decades. That’s some­thing I can’t just stand by and watch”. Ac­cord­ing to Packard, cli­mate change has been re­moved from the sci­en­tific world and placed in a po­lit­i­cal con­text. He sees New Zealand’s re­sponse to cli­mate change as “un­in­tel­li­gent, deeply unin­spir­ing and in­ef­fec­tive at re­duc­ing emis­sions.” De­spite the frus­tra­tions and in­er­tia, he re­mains up­beat; “Amaz­ing peo­ple are mo­bil­is­ing to ac­tion. Not just to stop the ex­pan­sion of fos­sil fu­els … but to paint the vi­sion for a cleaner and health­ier world, that’s re­new­ably pow­ered - and keeps the Pa­cific Is­lands above water. That’s what I’m work­ing to­ward.”

Photo: Ngahuia Har­ri­son

350 and

Generati Zero will on

join forces De­cemb in

er to cre­ate NZ ift

Pa­cific,a Pow­ersh hun­dreds plat­form of for

im­pas­sio to ned youth

net­work, per­form

up­skill, plan to build a and

cli­mate youth moveme

nt. For more in­for­mati

on see pow­ersh

ift.org.nz.

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