Fossil fuel corporations claiming gas as a suitable “transition” fuel is jeopardising New Zealand’s chances of achieving its net zero climate change targets, a new report from the International Energy Agency underscores.
“The science is clear. Fossil fuels can have no place in our transition to a zero carbon future. We urgently need to accelerate the transition to clean renewable energy,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for energy and resources, Julie Anne Genter.
The latest IEA World Energy Outlook makes clear that to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees, countries need to phase out fossil fuels. Crucially, the report highlights the risks of relying on fossil gas as a transition fuel.
“We cannot have our time over and the clock is ticking fast. To limit global warming and keep the climate healthy for future generations, we have to keep fossil fuels where they belong - in the ground.
“For years, fossil fuel companies denied the existence of the climate crisis. When that was no longer an option, the industry turned to promoting the myth that gas is a suitable transition fuel that will eventually lead to clean energy.
“As the IEA makes clear, relying on fossil gas as a transition fuel is not an option.
“In Government, the Greens have taken more action to protect the climate than the last three decades of governments combined. But the pace of change is still too slow.
“While Labour’s promised phase out of industrial coal use is positive - if not a little slow - faster action is still needed on fossil gas. Similarly, the Government’s ban on offshore oil and gas was an historic step - but it needs to be followed with a just transition away from onshore fossil fuel exploration.
“If we are serious about eliminating fossil fuels from our energy systems, the Government must stand up to the fossil gas industry and move faster. When faced with the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, the only way to get the bold action we need is for there to be more Green MPs at the decision making table,” says Julie Anne Genter.