We took on one of the biggest dairy companies in the world, and we won!
Fonterra – a multinational dairy cooperative in New Zealand – announced that it will not build any new coal boilers ever. Up until today, Fonterra had said it wouldn’t commit to stop building coal burners until 2030, a policy far too late for the planet’s climate system. This is a fantastic win for our climate!
This win isn’t out of nowhere.
Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer campaigners in Fossil Free Aoraki and 350 Nelson Tasman who launched a petition against Fonterra in 2018, and the great work of our friends in Coal Action Network and Auckland Climate Action, we’ve let Fonterra know that choosing not to invest in new coal boilers is a no-brainer – we won’t settle for less.
Last year our campaigners released a satirical ‘Coalterra: dairy for death’ advertisement showing a couple promoting ‘fresh New Zealand milk’ and quarrelling over the moral implications of burning coal for milk powder. The video drew attention to the ‘half-a-million tonnes of coal’ Fonterra burns every year in the production of milk powder.
Together we’ve shown New Zealand’s dairy industry that having ties with the fossil fuel industry is a financial, environmental, and moral burden. Every time an institution or a company rules out its future with coal, the social licence of the fossil fuel industry takes a hit. You can help us to secure more wins for the climate by donating to our work. Our team is dedicated to working closely with our volunteer campaigners to build the people-powered movement that is needed to take on the corporate interests that block action on climate change.
Let’s be clear about this. Fonterra is not the hero here. While Fonterra’s commitment to no new coal boilers is a vital step in the right direction, the dairy giant is still far from being a climate leader in New Zealand. Its current use makes Fonterra New Zealand’s second-biggest user of coal. Its agricultural practices are polluting our rivers and our atmosphere. Fonterra needs to extend its commitments by rapidly phasing out its use of fossil fuels in all stages of production.
But Fonterra’s commitment to stop building coal boilers and use less carbon-intensive methods to produce milk powder is a clear alarm bell for any other company with ties to the fossil fuel industry: coal, oil and gas have no future in our zero-carbon New Zealand.
It’s time to take on the fossil fuel industry while they’re down, and the best way we can do this is to cut off their ties with institutions that enable them to stay afloat. Help us to strengthen the power of our grassroots movement that is taking on the fossil fuel industry in Aotearoa. Your donations enable us to:
- Support our local campaigners in their communities, and grow their groups;
- Run workshops to upskill our volunteer campaigners, and others across the grassroots climate movement;
- Plan and design ongoing actions to build pressure on the banks blocking action on climate change;
- Host training to bring our volunteers together from across the country to learn from each other and collaborate on strategies.
Together we pushed Fonterra to reconsider its reliance on dirty coal. We know it’s not enough, and that Fonterra has huge transformations to make to have a place in our zero-carbon future. But in order to address the climate crisis, we need to chip away at powerful corporations and celebrate progress and the power of our campaigns when we create change.
Thank you for all of our support and dedication to make this happen.