News that just one small exploration permit has been awarded in the latest oil and gas Block Offer shows it’s time for the Government to give up its fossil fuel strategy and embrace clean energy, the Green Party said today.
Previous Block Offers have usually seen 10 or more permits awarded for total areas up to 46,000 sq km, while this year the single permit awarded has an area of just 219 sq km.
“With just one local company getting a single small permit, Simon Bridges’ misguided attempts to attract overseas fossil fuel investment have failed this year,” said Green Party energy and resources spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
“That’s good news for those of us who care about the protection of oceans, coastlines, and marine animals, and who can see the economic benefits of transitioning to clean energy.
“We’ve got oil companies giving up on New Zealand left, right, and centre, which goes to show the Government has been backing the wrong horse.
“Fossil fuels are yesterday’s fuels and we should be focussed on supporting New Zealand’s home-grown clean energy expertise instead.
“The Government’s recently updated Energy Strategy is a missed opportunity to begin a bold transformation to lead the world in clean energy.
“Globally, renewable electricity has overtaken coal, and electric vehicles are rapidly becoming the biggest growth sector in the auto industry.
“Clean energy is creating jobs around the world faster than any other energy sector and we should be tapping into that to create jobs here in New Zealand.
“We’re very good at renewable energy like wind and geothermal in New Zealand and we should be backing our local companies to export their expertise to the world,” Mr Hughes said.