23 February 2021
In this newsletter:
- Have your say on NZ’s climate change response
- Climate change and the PSA Strategic Goals
- Eco convenor vacancies
Your views wanted on NZ’s climate change response
Grant Brookes – Wellington Eco Network Convenor
This month has seen the release of the first report by He Pou a Rangi – the Climate Change Commission, the independent Crown entity established under the Zero Carbon Act in 2019. Their inaugural report contains draft advice to the Government on a strategy for meeting New Zealand’s emissions targets.
This follows the Government’s announcement last year of a requirement for all public service agencies (public service and DHBs) to be carbon neutral by 2025.
The task before us is momentous, but so too is the need. The PSA has welcomed the report and public service goals as both a challenge and an opportunity to build a more equitable society, reduce emissions, and ensure a just transition for workers.
Realising this opportunity will require the expertise and interests of working people to be front and centre in our transformation to a zero carbon economy. For this reason, your PSA Eco Convenors and Reps are working with the PSA policy team to produce a submission on the Commission’s draft advice. We want the views of PSA Eco Network members to be heard – both in the PSA’s submission and in individual responses, too.
The Commission has set 24 consultation questions, which are available here The first 19 questions relate to a wide range of actions that the Government should take over the next 15 years if we’re to be on track to reach the goal of net zero emissions of long-lived gases by 2050, and reduce biogenic methane emissions by between 24-47% by 2050. There is one question about the “rules for measuring progress”, or system of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions. And the last four questions are about our “Nationally Determined Contribution” under the Paris Agreement, asking whether Aotearoa’s current goals reflect a fair share of the global effort.
You are welcome to answer any or all of the questions, or comment on other aspects of an Equitable Transitions Strategy towards a zero carbon economy. Individual submissions close on 14 March. To contribute to the PSA’s submission, please send your views to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 March.
We also encourage you to get involved in your own workplace’s efforts to reduce emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. Join your workplace green group if there is one or set one up if there isn’t! You can email email@example.com for advice. We’d also love to hear how you’re getting on and if you have any ideas to share.
Adding climate change to the PSA Strategic Goals
Grant Brookes – Wellington Eco Network Convenor
The PSA Executive Board is currently leading a mid-term review of our union’s Strategic Goals 2018-24 The outcome of the review will set the guideposts on the journey to advance PSA members’ interests over the next three years. In addition to reviewing progress towards the four existing goals (available here ), the Executive Board will also consider whether new strategic or interim strategic goals should be added, reflecting significant changes to our operating context and progress made since 2018.
The process being followed involves consultation with the PSA Sector Committees, Te Rūnanga and Networks, including the Eco Network. It is the view of our Network that there is a climate emergency and the passage of the Zero Carbon Act in 2019 and the 2020 introduction of carbon neutrality goals for the public service herald major changes for PSA members, which should be reflected in the refreshed goals and priorities of our union.
We have already made some progress on this. Last year, PSA Eco Network members met with the PSA Executive Board, sector committees, networks and candidates for PSA President and expressed our desire for climate change to be reflected in the PSA’s strategic goals. New PSA President Benedict Ferguson has expressed strong support for climate change to be included in our union’s strategic plan.
To support our advocacy to achieve this, we invite PSA Eco Network members to tell us how climate change is affecting your working life and home life, and how it might be added as a strategic or interim strategic goal for our union. Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 March. The Eco Network committee will be meeting to craft a submission based on the feedback we receive. If you’re interested in joining this meeting please let us know and we’ll add you to the invite.
Keen to get more involved? Convenor vacancies
We have three Eco Network convenor vacancies – National Co-Convenor, Auckland Regional Convenor, and South Island Regional Convenor (for South Island members outside Christchurch). We welcome expressions of interest for these roles.
The network convenors help to develop and coordinate plans, activities, Eco Reps and members in their region and across the country. We also have unelected Eco Rep roles that anyone can volunteer for to participate as a leader in the network. More details about the roles, associated responsibilities and election process can be found on our website here under the tab titled ‘Eco Network Structure’.
We invite you to express your interest in one or more of the convenor roles or to be an Eco Rep. You can do so by emailing email@example.com with a paragraph or two about yourself and why you are interested in the role. Please get in touch by Monday 8 March with your expression of interest.
Please share these opportunities with other PSA members. If anyone is not an Eco Network member they can join by updating their details on the PSA website here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .