May/June 2015

We’re enjoying planning for our ‘Grass Roots Gig’ in September. We make it happen every second year. For those of you who haven’t experienced this gig, it’s about great music and big fun, with a rich sauce of curious and useful things in auction. This year we are proud to be hosting it in the beautiful Long Beach Hall, with the inimitable Delaney Davidson freshly back from a US tour to headline the show. As space is limited, we will be providing pre-sales. So put Saturday, the 19th of September in your diary and we’ll let you know as soon as tickets are available.

At the end of 2015 there is the most important international meeting yet to establish a new international climate change agreement. The government called for public submissions on what New Zealand’s target and contributions should be. BRCT prepared a submission (see here) for the 3rd of June deadline and agree with OraTaiao (the NZ Climate & Health Council) on some basic elements such as:  

  • establishing a global zero carbon target by 2050 – and the same NZ target before 2050
  • pledging at least 40% cuts by 2030 in our gross domesticgreenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990, towards at least 95% by 2050
  • placing an immediate moratorium on new fossil fuel exploration and phasing out existing extraction in the next decade
  • including in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions both cross-party agreement and policies to achieve these targets.

Every day we delay action increases the cost of action, so we suggested such things as: Revitalising the Warm Up NZ scheme, where every public dollar spent saves four public health dollars; supporting the national Eco-Design Advisor service and the Home Performance Assessment service which provides independent expert advice for homeowners to ensure warmer, healthier, low emission homes; stopping all subsidies, assistance, provision of technical data and permits to the fossil fuel sector immediately, and; commiting savings gained from eliminating support to the fossil fuel sector to rapidly expand renewable generation in New Zealand to build, first a 100% renewable electricity system with security of supply by 2025 and then a transport fleet running on 95% renewable energy by 2050.

At the BRCT office John Kaiser has joined the operational team as a volunteer staff member providing operational coordination of our wide range of activities. It is great to have John’s coordination and problem solving experience on hand in our busy office. Our thanks too to Anne McLean who continues to volunteer admin support and to KPMG who ensure our systems are as good as they can be, and an expanded Home Peformance Assessment team.

We continue to explore low carbon opportunities and are receiving interest and orders for the Inzone polyester ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation we now have for sale. The Home Performance Assessment service continues to be in demand. As well, the new Cosy Homes Charitable Trust has been successful in achieving start-up funding. The Trust provides an umbrella for action across the city to make “every home in Dunedin warm and cosy by 2025”. This is excellent news and will provide real support for a Trust determined to reduce fuel poverty.

There are a number of stimulating articles coming up on the Cuppa Tea blog and no end of activity despite the shortening days. You call us on 4822 048 and we can always be found in the old dental clinic at Waitati School, email : office@brct.org.nz , or just check out our website (www.brct.org.nz).

By Scott Willis