Mike Smith, New Zealand's Sustainable Climate Battle

Mike Smith, New Zealand's Sustainable Climate Battle

In a landmark trial, Maori environmental activist Mike Smith won the right to sue seven of New Zealand's largest companies to force them to stop carbon emissions.

From our correspondent in Wellington.

Kia ora! » (Hello in Maori) Mike says to me with a big smile while his mower is still purring. He disconnected and his face sweated. ” Sorry, I took the opportunity to do the lawn today, because it's our first cold day since the beginning of summer “.

In mid-March, which marks the end of southern summer, temperatures are still around 30 degrees at Coopers Beach, one of the sunniest areas in the country.

Although our country is called the “Land of the Long White Cloud,” here it is almost tropical! » Mike jokes. The activist invites me to his Maori home, where several photographs are framed alongside jade stone sculptures, commemorating 30 years of climate activism. ” That was in 1992, at the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. I was there as an original delegate from New Zealand. This is where we started talking about climate change “.

This time, this battle will be fought within the New Zealand courts. ” it's time! “(It's time) Mike shouts.” Ten or fifteen years ago, I wouldn't have been able to do that. But today we clearly see how urgent the climate issue is. It is the greatest crisis in our modern history. »

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