Te kaha me te wairua. Energy flows where attention goes.
Generation Zero’s story begins in 2010, with a group of young New Zealanders attending the international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico. Filled with hope and under the belief that governments would rise to the challenge of climate change. That belief was shattered when these negotiations, like those before them, failed to reach a meaningful agreement. The mandate for change simply did not exist. Despite the need to act in order to secure a stable future for young and future generations, there was no political consequence for inaction and plenty of pressure from special interests to maintain the status quo.
This moment was a rallying point for this group of young New Zealanders, who would soon become Generation Zero. The climate crisis is the challenge of our generation, and young people are the inheritors of humanity’s response to the climate crisis. We saw that there was a crucial role for young people to play in creating the solutions that would define our future. And we realised that we were in a position to bring young people from around New Zealand together to do this.
This is where our real work began, and it has taken many different shapes over the years. We have organised demonstrations to spread the urgent message of the need for climate action. We have mobilised New Zealanders to become Climate Voters to put a climate friendly government in power. And we have lobbied government to stop their 'business as usual' approach and to take bold action for our future.
In 2016 we started our biggest endeavour yet, the Zero Carbon Act. We worked with businesses, community organisations, farmers, technical experts and academics to create a comprehensive climate law that all political parties could support. Together we created a climate law that set out the path for Aotearoa to reach zero emissions. This was passed into legislation in 2019. A moment we are extremely proud of.
Where are we now?
We are in a time of momentum and urgency in our planet and in Aotearoa. As a youth-led climate group, our focus is to mobilise young people to engage with decision making and campaign for intergenerational climate justice. We're passionate about smarter transport, liveable cities, and independence from fossil fuels. We continue to lobby government, business and other actors to advance bold climate action for our future.
Our actions are led by values that guide our actions and our role as a Te Tiriti partner.
Rangatiratanga | Collaboration, Te Tiriti
As we work on a zero carbon future, we will collaborate with tangata whenua to ensure Aotearoa’s success. This means committing to honouring and upholding Te Tiriti and amplifying the perspectives of tangata whenua.
Climate Justice | Compassion , Manaakitanga, Respect
As we go on this journey to create a just society, honesty, respect and empathy are with us every step of the way. This will ensure we have a dignified and just transition from fossil fuels. Centering and amplifying the voices of those impacted by transitions from fossil fuels and prioritising what they will need.
Friendship First | Active relationships, Wellbeing
Volunteering and advocacy are more than just a job. We are building a community of strong reciprocal, active relationships that can hold us together as we face the future. Within Generation Zero and with our allies we aim to create a safe space where our relationships and wellbeing is prioritised.
Non Partisan | Solutions-focussed, evidence-based
We support policies that help deliver our vision of a thriving, equitable future beyond fossil fuels, regardless of where they come from. The best solutions to the issues we face are ones in which all of us can participate; not just a single political party or ideology. When we work together in solidarity with one another; we can create a thriving world to live in.
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