Climate Strike. Now Climate Action.

“The kids are alright”, but (adult) Talk Wellington contributor Alex MacGibbon has been inspired to take action – what we can do here in Wellington.

Generation X reporting for duty!

As a young GenXer (at times feeling more like a Millennial), seeing the thousands turnout to march for the School Strikes for Climate Action gave me plenty of feels. But overwhelmingly I felt a bit like being in the in-between generation, with no tangible way I can make a big difference. I feel stuck between the older Gen X’ers (some of whom are in positions of influence and power) and the worried yet energised youth.

I’m a parent with school kids who are too young to attend the march, yet are fully aware of many of the environmental issues of our time. They remind me almost daily how small actions can make a difference. This month one of the songs of choice for Miss 7 is Jack Johnson’s The 3 R’s (you know… reduce, reuse, recycle). They love the fun and challenge of Movin’ March but also understand why we must reduce vehicle use and up our active transport.

But, what sort of climate issues will our children be living with in 50 years?

Strike action – to City action

The guilt-trip which our rangatahi are pulling us adults through needs to channel our focus at big business and slow moving government. And our fear for the future should haul us into more urgent action.

But what action?

What can I do to make a tangible difference right now, in Wellington, in our small nation at the bottom of the Pacific? What can I do this year, this decade, to make a difference? And, beyond choosing where I spend my consumer-power, how can I have any influence on the big businesses and government?

I may not have walked with the school strikers, but I can tell our city decision makers what I want them to focus on.

And those of us 18 and over, can vote.

When our rangatahi say: “I don’t want your hope. I want your action!” how should we respond?

Focused energy

Let’s maximise the energy and urgency of our School Strikes 4 Climate and the focus on the Zero Carbon Bill when it finally progresses through parliament. Add your voice to support groups such as Generation Zero.

When Anya Bukholt-Payne of Climate Challenge speaks next Thursday to our mayor, city planners and citizens, and asks “How do we create a better city for young people?” What would you like our Mayor to say in response? Tell him – email him, or on his Facebook.

First 2 Zero?

Our Council highlight that we have the lowest carbon emissions per capita in Australasia – but actually, the emissions are only 2% lower than 2001 levels. Not good enough.

Snippet of info from the City Strategy agenda doc.

This Thursday 21 March the WCC City Strategy Committee will discuss First to Zero (F2Z) – a blueprint for making Wellington a zero carbon capital. (Jump to page 23 in the agenda PDF here).

Turn up, tune in, read it, support it, share it – and quickly, tell your own councillor you expect them to lead. Find them here.

After Thursday, read the minutes on how they responded (click the meeting and “read more”.
If you don’t agree with your local Councillor’s response to it – tell them. They are the decision makers but they’re supposed to represent you, their constituents – and you, with us, are watching.

Make sure you sound like the #ClimateEmergency it actually is.

“But what can one small city do?”

If you get caught up in pessimists’ whining, you can tell them the answer: plenty.

One city can do a lot, both on its own and as catalyst inspiring others to take action.

The Wellington District Plan is up for review this year and decisions we make now will shape the way we live for decades. Our Council is talking about growth and planning for the future, leading conversations with citizens about how we can make it a better future for all. And they will be presenting some scenarios for consultation soon.

This is the start of a conversation to develop a model for the City’s growth and change over the next 30 years.
We know there will be trade-offs to make and we really need your help.

Wellington City Council,

What’s your action?

So – what will you trade-off to ensure a future for this planet?

What’s your action?

What would you be prepared to trade off, city-wide, to reduce emissions?

Could you try a few of the suggestions listed here? Drastic yes, but high-impact enough to help cut carbon emissions in half by 2030.

How are you – or young people you know – feeling after the School Strike for Climate?


  • Banner image CC Jess Feast
  • “You say you love your kids” student with sign, CCBY David Tong
  • Screenshot of WCC City Strategy doc, page 24, emphasis added

Further reading

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