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Peak oil acknowledgement a breath of fresh air

2 May 2006

Peak oil acknowledgement a breath of fresh air

The Green Party is welcoming Prime Minister Helen Clark's acknowledgement that the Earth may have already reached peak oil production or that this point is very near.

"Helen Clark is the first New Zealand Prime Minister to grasp this fundamental driver of our future, and I commend her for this. Still, New Zealanders continue to wait with bated breath for some real action on this issue," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

Ms Fitzsimons today asked the Prime Minister how her recent acknowledgement of peak oil would impact on the way her Government plans for the future.

"Issues such as public transport and finding alternative energy sources can no longer be ignored, and it was pleasing to have the Prime Minister agree with this," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"She also said she was open to considering a similar approach to Sweden, which has set a deadline of 2020 to end its dependency on petroleum.

"This would be a major step in future-proofing New Zealand, but it will depend on many ministries and departments changing their assumptions about the price of fuel in the future. For too long now important decisions about government policy have been based on outdated and inaccurate information.

"We look forward to the Prime Minister instructing Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development to get some reality in their predictions, which are currently both naively still working on the basis that oil prices will drop.

"Clearly, this is an inaccurate assumption, and the Prime Minister has now acknowledged this. The Greens look forward to future discussions with Miss Clark on how Government and the private sector can work together to develop a transition to a post-oil economy," Ms Fitzsimons says.


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