Paula Bennett notches up second climate failure

New Climate Minister Paula Bennett has notched up her second major fail for the climate in a week, overseeing a decision to keep burning coal at the Huntly power station until 2022, the Green Party said today.

New Climate Minister Paula Bennett has notched up her second major fail for the climate in a week, overseeing a decision to keep burning coal at the Huntly power station until 2022, the Green Party said today.

The Government announced today that Genesis Energy will continue to operate its two fossil fuel power plants at Huntly until 2022, having previously applauded their plan to close them in 2018. The news comes just four days after the Government signed up to the Paris climate agreement in New York.

“If Minister Bennett really cared about the climate, she’d stand up for it," said Green Party energy spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Just four days after admitting the Government had cashed in fraudulent carbon credits that encouraged more pollution, Minister Bennett has overseen a deal to burn coal at Huntly for four more years.

"Today's decision is the net result of eight years of failing to prepare New Zealand to end its reliance on fossil fuels.

"National has failed to prepare the energy sector for the end of the fossil fuel era by choosing to keep carbon prices artificially low, and by continuing to prop up New Zealand's largest single energy user – Tiwai aluminium.

“The energy sector has other options, with almost 4000 megawatts of consented renewable generation ready and waiting to be built.

“The National Government needs to recognise it is responsible for preserving our environment for future generations, not just for protecting the balance sheets of large energy companies,” said Mr Hughes.

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