Protesters ‘bill’ Genesis Energy for climate damage

April 5, 2023

Protesters ‘bill’ Genesis Energy for climate damage

Protesters holding signs outside Genisis Energy offices on Fanshawe Street in the Auckland CBD. PHOTO: Eva Gallot

Protesters have gathered in Tāmaki Makaurau’s CBD to ‘bill’ Genesis Energy for their contribution to climate change following Cyclone Gabrielle.

It is part of a nationwide campaign which aims at holding the five main companies that generate and sell electricity (gentailers) accountable for their inaction in promoting renewable and community energy.

Protestors have also launched a petition to pressure the Government to intervene.

Gentailors operate like a “cartel” says Alva Feldmire, climate advocacy group 350 Aotearoa spokesperson.

“These companies have been making excess profits and distributing excess dividends to their shareholders over the past 14 years, it’s been a whole whopping $8.7 billion which is the figure we’ve got on our bill that we’re delivering today”

A report found that in 2022 Genesis Energy’s profit increased 600% from $32 million, to $222 million.

“We want the government to step up and say it's not okay while households are struggling to make ends meet... our communities are experiencing an increase in climate damage, like the climate induced Cyclone Gabrielle.”, Feldmire says.

Cyclone Gabrielle saw 225,000 homes lose their power.

“We need to invest in distributing renewable generators. These companies are actively blocking it. So that’s why we’re out here, to say pay for your climate damage and we want this to be through the government stepping in.”, Feldmire says.

Despite the government having a 51% share of three out of five of our largest energy companies, they have yet to put pressure on these companies to promote renewable energy.

“I think that’s something well continue to ask the government at the moment and any future government to use their power as majority shareholders to hold these companies accountable.”, Feldmire says.

A representative from Genesis Energy invited two of the protesters in for a friendly discussion about their differences inside the building.

“We think the way to solve these issues is by getting the government to step in and get gentailors to pay for their climate damage... I think they’d (Genesis Energy) like to keep their money and invest into renewable energy at their own pace.”, Feldmire says

She says Genesis employees had “little awareness” of community energy.

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