“The announcements to stop new oil and gas block offers are very welcome but are long overdue. This must be just the beginning of decarbonisation, says the Environment and Conservation Organisations of NZ, ECO.
“ECO congratulates Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and the Prime Minister for the announcements today that there will be no offshore oil and gas exploration or mining block offers”, says Cath Wallace, Co-chair of ECO. “These are starting steps to reducing fossil fuel exploration and production of oil and gas in our journey to reducing carbon emissions.”
“The measures will be a big help, but we do not agree with the continued issue of block offers for exploration for oil and gas on land. Much of the oil and gas already found must not be mined if New Zealand is to do its part for the climate.”
“It is a great pity that the previous government refused to tackle the transition to a low carbon economy and allowed people to base their work and businesses on a false expectation of the future. This has led to “stranded assets” for workers and investors”, says Wallace.
“No-one could have been surprised by the latest announcements. The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand, lobby group, PEPANZ, and its member oil and gas companies, has feigned surprise but they cannot have been surprised, given the various parties’ pre-election commitments.”
“These companies and PEPANZ carry a huge load of responsibility for the delay in decarbonisation in New Zealand and the risks to our climate and environment.”
“Companies involved include Shell (Anglo-Dutch), Todd Energy (NZ) , OMV (which is Austrian), Origin Energy (Australian), and Oil and Gas (NZ). These and other companies have for years pressured governments to suit themselves, and have actively sought to maintain the environmentally irresponsible fossil fuel production and very poor public policy on climate.”
“There must be a just transition to a low carbon economy. Workers and small businesses must be helped to move out of fossil fuels.”
“PEPANZ however and its members should be condemned for their pressure on successive governments to keep on harming the climate and the ocean. Their lobbying and pressure will make the transition more abrupt and painful than if we had acted sooner.”
“It is time to also retire the applications and permits held over the large tracts of our sea that the previous government opened to exploration under its block offers.”
“ECO expects that moves to more renewable energy and more public transport will provide more jobs for New Zealanders than oil and gas exploration and mining which is capital intensive and provides comparatively few jobs compared to a low carbon future.”