11 Jun 2024

Climate Change Minister drowned out by School Strike for Climate activists

10:53 pm on 11 June 2024

The Climate Change Minister was drowned out at a conference by School Strike 4 Climate activists on Tuesday.

Minister Simon Watts was invited to speak at a conference in Christchurch run by the Environment Defence Society.

The protesters interrupted his speech chanting "climate over profit" and "stop the greenwash."

When asked by RNZ about the interruption, Watts said the government is committed to "meeting our climate change targets" and that they will "continue to use opportunities to engage with the public on how to meet them."

Environment Defence Society chief executive Gary Taylor said he did not blame the climate minister for leaving during the speech.

Taylor said he was looking forward to hearing what the minister had to say, and felt "aggrieved the interruption occurred".

"On the one hand, 50 years ago I might have been one of those young people protesting because there's a lot of anxiety about climate change from the younger generation, but the bottom line is it wasn't the time or place."

This would make it harder for attempts by the EDS to encourage dialogue with government ministers, Taylor said.

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