Warm wel­come for e-bik­ers

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Some who ar­rive at the steps of Par­lia­ment to de­liver pe­ti­tions re­ceive a warmer wel­come than oth­ers, but Green MP Chloe Swar­brick was de­lighted to wel­come 13 ‘se­niors’ from the Bay of Islands and Wai­heke Is­land re­cently.

They took 25 days to com­plete their 1200km e-bike h¯ıkoi/eke, in sup­port of the gov­ern­ment’s Zero Car­bon

Bill.

“Some peo­ple have been fight­ing for cli­mate ac­tion for decades, but we don’t have any more decades left on the clock,” Ms Swar­brick said. “To­day I re­ceived mem­bers of the Car­bon Neu­tral Trust, who’ve rid­den over 1200km in

25 days from Wai­heke to Welling­ton to build aware­ness and con­sen­sus for the strong­est pos­si­ble Zero Car­bon Bill, to be pre­sented to New Zealand Par­lia­ment im­mi­nently by James Shaw. Many of them have been cam­paign­ing for this since the 1970s.

“Co­in­ci­den­tally, this morn­ing I’d (tem­po­rar­ily) nicked some of James’ old Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Al­liance and Values Party pro­pa­ganda, which con­tained poli­cies about the cli­mate, bio­di­ver­sity and equal­ity. It’s mind­blow­ing to think state­ments writ­ten 20-30 years ago are now all the more ur­gently rel­e­vant.

“We sim­ply won’t sur­vive an­other gen­er­a­tion of politi­cians sit­ting on their hands. Cli­mate ac­tion is sur­vival, and it’s our only fu­ture.”

Car­bon Neu­tral Trust spokesman Rolf Mueller-Glodde, one of the 13 rid­ers, said the h¯ıkoi was the lat­est step in an on­go­ing cam­paign to raise aware­ness and re­duce emis­sions. For more than a year the trust had been work­ing on a car­bon cal­cu­la­tor that en­abled anyone to de­ter­mine their nett car­bon foot­print.

“Please give it a try for your house­hold to get a good un­der­stand­ing of it,” he said. “The pur­pose is to raise aware­ness of per­sonal be­hav­iour and pos­si­bil­i­ties for im­prove­ment. Un­like other avail­able cal­cu­la­tors [such asFu­ture Fit], no per­sonal data other than an email ad­dress and postal code are re­quired.” The trust in­tended to ap­proach house­holds and school science teach­ers, in the hope that they would ex­plain cli­mate change, emis­sion ef­fects and the car­bon cal­cu­la­tor to stu­dents, who would take that home to par­ents. Pre­sen­ta­tions were al­ready planned for Spring­bank School, Riverview School, Kerik­eri High and Pri­mary schools, as well as for the Kaikohe Ro­tary Club.

“Once we get 20 per cent par­tic­i­pa­tion of house­holds in a spe­cific town or is­land (like Kerik­eri and Wai­heke) we’ll have a base­line to work on their car­bon neu­tral sta­tus. We hope to en­tice par­tic­i­pants to en­gage in a re­duc­tion of their nett car­bon foot­print by 10 per cent an­nu­ally over 10 years,” Mr Mueller-Glodde said.

Car­bon Neu­tral NZ Trust was es­tab­lished last year to raise aware­ness and pro­vide a tool to mit­i­gate the ef­fects of CO2 emis­sions.

“We are very con­cerned se­niors — Baby Boomers — who want to do ev­ery­thing we can to con­serve a healthy en­vi­ron­ment for our grand­chil­dren, grand nieces and neph­ews and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” he said.

The hikoi’s re­cep­tion on Seven Sharp, can be seen at www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/ seven-sharp/clips/guilty-grand­par­entsturn-eco-war­riors-pedal-across-nor­this­land-for-their-grand­kids.

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

Car­bon Neu­tral Trust mem­bers were met out­side Par­lia­ment by Green MP Chloe Swar­brick.

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