• March 27, 2019
Movement Extinction Rebellion with coffin outside the Auckland Town Hall, where they delivered their demands to the council.
A ‘funeral’ for the climate was held in Aotea Square by an international movement who are appealing to the council to declare a state of emergency.
Bagpipes accompanied a procession of mourners and a black coffin out of the Town Hall after a council meeting where Extinction Rebellion’s spokesperson Rosie Gee asked the council to declare a state of climate emergency, as 369 councils worldwide have already done.
“Let’s have Auckland Council be 370,” she said.
Under the Paris Agreement, the Government are committed to a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (based on 2005 levels). They also aim to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
Ms Gee told the council meeting the goals are, “too little and too late.”
But the council said they had lots of people working towards the zero-carbon goal as well as investment in electric buses with Auckland Transport and hydrogen vehicles with Ports of Auckland.
Afterwards, Ms Gee said the council did not give exact figures.
“I really do think every single person on council should be involved in battling climate change,” she said.
Extinction Rebellion are calling for a “WW2 level of mobilisation” to fight climate change.
This would look like accelerated action on the council’s part, as well as a complete transparency of fossil fuel investments.
Ms Gee said mobilisation also involves individuals changing their own lifestyles.
It would mean being aware of where our money goes, supporting Fairtrade and organic products and “choosing to buy Gisborne oranges rather than US ones.
“We need to curb our lifestyles as if our lives depend on it, because unfortunately, they do,” she said.
Ms Gee also asked the council to set up a citizen’s climate emergency panel.
The council have now invited her to a climate summit taking place later in the year.
This was the second funeral the group has held.
Greenpeace journalist Phil Vine delivered a eulogy for the species that have been lost due to climate change.
“Remembering and recognising the passing of other species serves to remind us of our own mortality and our starring role in this grizzly murder-suicide pact,” he said.
Extinction Rebellion will hold a non-violent demonstration on April 15. More details will be released closer to the time.