Low oil prices give the Government the perfect opportunity to begin withdrawing its support for oil exploration and risky deep sea oil drilling, the Green Party said today.
Oil prices have fallen over the past 18 months, dropping from more than $100 a barrel to just over $30. Some analysts believe prices could sink to as low as $10 this year.
“Low oil prices present the perfect opportunity for the Government to start withdrawing its support for oil exploration and risky deep sea oil drilling,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“Oil hasn’t been this cheap since George W. Bush was President.
“We know that two-thirds of all discovered fossil fuels have to stay in the ground if we want a secure, stable climate. A good economic manager would use the low current oil price to withdraw its support for further investment in dirty energy and encourage capital to flow into the clean economy instead.
“Once oil companies sink capital into extraction, it becomes costly to abandon and that much harder to meet our Paris commitments to reduce carbon pollution.
“The Green Party would establish a Green Investment Bank to speed this transition of capital into the low carbon economy helping to finance renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, and the development and the production of significant volumes of biofuels.
“Low oil prices also gives the National Government a chance to act on carbon pricing that is more difficult when prices are high.
“We’re not going to meet our Paris commitments to reduce our carbon pollution by sitting on our hands. It’s time for the Government to help businesses and consumers lead the economic transition to a clean, green economy,” said Mr Shaw.