Young plea for climate change 'conversation'

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 21/07/2014

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A group of proactive young New Zealanders wants a "national conversation" about climate change in the leadup to the election.

Generation Zero has organised ClimateVote summits for Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland in a bid to ensure a "non-partisan voice calling for a Government response to climate change", lead organiser Jimmy Green said.

Christchurch's weekend-long seminar will feature several speakers from Generation Zero as well as Kaila Colbin, from the Ministry of Awesome, former Student Volunteer Army general manager Jason Pemberton, and Sean Barnes, from The Sustainability Company.

The summits would also include workshops on leadership, communication and online media skills, but the focus would be on climate change solutions, Green said.

"It really is possible to solve this problem if we choose to," he said.

Generation Zero did not promote any political party's policies and had decided not to include a political panel in the ClimateVote summits because "politicians just say what you expect them to say".

"One of the issues we see is that people shouldn't need to vote for whole packages of political beliefs just because you are clear on climate change," Green said.

"It's not about social justice or child poverty, it's about something that is very fundamental and it's really important that there is a non-partisan voice promoting this issue."

Generation Zero is a nationwide organisation with more than 10,000 members and 500 active volunteers.

The Christchurch summit will be held this weekend at Te Puna Wanaka at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

Registration for the summits can be completed by going to www.climatevote.org.nz

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