The Green Party is heralding today’s announcement ending new fossil fuel exploration in New Zealand’s oceans as a massive step towards a stable climate and to protecting our marine life and beaches.
“The Green Party and thousands of New Zealanders have been working for decades towards this day and this decision – that fossil fuels are not our future," said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“Ending deep sea oil and gas exploration has long been a key goal of the Green Party and today, in Government, we’ve delivered on it.
“The decision means our beaches, coastlines and marine life are now far less likely to be affected by a Deepwater Horizon-style oil spill in the future.
“Our Pacific neighbours, who are on the frontline of rising seas, can know that we’ve got their backs.
“Scientists tell us that we can’t burn almost all the oil, gas, and coal that has already been discovered. We simply cannot justify looking for more.
“Today we have drawn a line in the sand and set our country on the path to a clean energy, low carbon future. This represents an enormous opportunity for the creation of new jobs and new technologies that our dependence on fossil fuels has held back for too long.
“Although there will be no immediate impact on jobs, I can understand that some communities will have some concern over the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a low-carbon economy. That is why this Government is committed to a just transition, and to investing in well-paid, high-tech clean-energy jobs, particularly in our regions.
“As we move towards a fossil fuel-free future, we will move together – communities, government and business alike. Just last week, the Government announced a $20 million economic development investment in Taranaki, including conservation, tourism, clean energy, and the Maori economy.
“This is truly the nuclear free moment of our generation, and the beginning of a new and exciting future for Aotearoa New Zealand," said Mr Shaw.