National cooking the planet with gas

National is not taking seriously its responsibility to protect future generations and eliminate climate-damaging pollution, despite its high-profile commitment last year to the Paris Climate agreement, the Green Party said today.

Information obtained by the Green Party shows neither Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett nor Energy Minister Judith Collins sought advice about the impact on climate change of opening up huge reserves of gas hydrate off the East Coast.

“Ministers Bennett and Collins have chosen to stick their heads in the sand and remain ignorant about what more fossil fuel extraction means for the climate and for future generations,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

National is expected to confirm in March plans to open up 75,180 square kilometres of ocean off the East Coast for exploration, an area NIWA describes as having a massive seabed of gas hydrate.

“We know that, if we’re going to limit dangerous global warming, fossil fuel companies simply cannot burn the oil and gas reserves they already have. Opening up massive areas of ocean to extract more is simply adding fuel to the fire," said Mr Shaw.

“National continues to push a misleading message – that its committed to stopping the climate crisis – while at the same time bending over backwards to help the fossil fuel industry make the problem worse.

“The idea that we need gas to transition away from dirty coal is simply spin. It is now practical and affordable for all new energy to come from local, renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro or bio-fuel from forestry," said Mr Shaw.

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