Chris Luxon’s plan to reopen new gas projects in the middle of the climate crisis is about as irresponsible as it gets.
Speaking on a visit to Taranaki, Mr. Luxon confirmed that a National Government would be committed to gas for “several decades.”
“Luxon is playing politics with our kids' futures. New Zealanders and the planet deserve better,” says the Green Party’s spokesperson for energy and resources, Julie Anne Genter.
“The clock is ticking and people want faster, more radical action on climate change. They want their communities powered by clean renewable energy; warm, healthy homes; and the creation of thousands of new planet-saving jobs.
“To achieve this - and keep the climate healthy for future generations - we have to keep fossil fuels where they belong: in the ground. And yet, in the middle of a climate crisis, and at the very moment we need to accelerate efforts to cut climate pollution, Mr. Luxon announces a plan to put the gas burners on global warming.
"It is hard to overstate how irresponsible this is. And for what? A few extra votes.
“Only last week, the historically conservative International Energy Agency made clear that relying on fossil gas as a transition fuel is not an option. To keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees, the report said, countries need to phase out fossil fuels.
“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.
“It looks like the National Party’s climate policy - from Judith Collins to Chris Luxon - is on the same trajectory.
“Fossil fuels can have no place in our transition to a zero carbon future. Not only that but workers deserve certainty about a just transition.
“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.
“In a strong position to shape the direction of the next Government, the Green Party will eliminate fossil fuels from our energy systems and lead a just transition to clean, renewable energy,” says Julie Anne Genter.