New Zealand Bans All New Offshore Oil Exploration
“The New Zealand government will grant no new offshore oil exploration permits in a move that is being hailed by conservation and environmental groups as a historic victory in the battle against climate change,” writes Eleanor Ainge Roy in an article for The Guardian. “The ban will apply to new permits and won’t affect the existing 22, some of which have decades left on their exploration rights and cover an area of 100,000 sq km.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government “has a plan to transition towards a carbon-neutral future, one that looks 30 years in advance”.
“Transitions have to start somewhere and unless we make decisions today that will essentially take effect in 30 or more years’ time, we run the risk of acting too late and causing abrupt shocks to communities and our country.”
“Today’s announcement is significant internationally too. By ending new oil and gas exploration in our waters, the fourth-largest exclusive economic zone on the planet is out of bounds for new fossil fuel exploitation. New Zealand has stood up to one of the most powerful industries in the world,” said the Greenpeace New Zealand executive director, Russel Norman.
“The opposition party slammed the government’s ban as “economic vandalism” and said it made no environmental sense,” reports the article.
“The Labour coalition government was elected last year and made tackling climate change one of the cornerstones of its policies, committing to transition to 100% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2035 and making the economy carbon neutral by 2050.”
“Globally, everyone needs to be making these kinds of decisions to meet their Paris targets,” said Ardern, as reported in Bloomberg.
“We have to start taking those obligations seriously.”
Article Source: The Guardian, Eleanor Ainge Roy, April 12, 2018
Image Source: Wikipedia