Ambitious goal of Generation Zero
Nina Atkinson has got climate change on the brain.
The former Mana resident and Tawa College student is a member of a youth lobby group, Generation Zero, who want climate change solutions to be part of local and national government thinking.
She and a group of other young people are sharing their vision – on moving beyond fossil fuels – as part of a countrywide speaking tour.
The talk in Wellington, at the town tall, was postponed last week because of the earthquake, but dates from Palmerston North to Northland in August will go ahead.
Ms Atkinson, 21, has completed a politics degree at Victoria University, and is a full- time volunteer for Generation Zero.
The group made headlines in December with the Power Shift conference, a series of workshops and speeches about climate change that received plenty of media coverage.
Ms Atkinson said her thoughts about how New Zealand could be a world leader on the non-reliance on fossil fuels firmed at university. However, it was not new ground for her.
‘‘It is something I’ve thought about since my school days and now climate change is a huge part of who I am,’’ she said.
‘‘At the moment I’m putting my life into this issue and I find it exciting. ‘‘ Power Shift was amazing. It definitely showed there are a lot of young people out there who are putting their energy into this and we’re trying to keep the engagement going.’’
The overarching goal of Generation Zero is to have a zerocarbon New Zealand by 2050.
Though that goal could be seen as reaching for the stars, Ms Atkinson said local and central governments could do more to cut down on their use of fossil fuels and make smarter decisions over public transport.
‘‘We think the money being put into the national roads of significance should be allocated more towards low-carbon transport options.’’
Ms Atkinson’s area of expertise is in setting strategy for Generation Zero. She said that so far the reception on the tour had been very positive.
The postponed Wellington talk will take place on August 12. Go to generation.org.nz for information.