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Peak oil strategy would help Kyoto response

Peak oil strategy would help Kyoto response - Maori Party

Dr Pita Sharples, Finance spokesperson                          9 June 2008

Hon Tariana Turia, Climate change spokesperson

The massive 9% spike in crude oil, along with the falling New Zealand dollar, has led to renewed calls from the Māori Party for a cross-party Parliamentary Commission to look sensibly and collaboratively at addressing the challenge of Peak Oil.

“It’s too late to prevaricate about whether world oil production is peaking now or next year,” said Dr Sharples, Finance spokesperson for the Māori Party.“The discovery of new fields and new extraction technology is not offsetting falling production from existing fields, while the global demand for oil continues to increase” said Dr Sharples.

“We need to put aside political differences, and work together across the Parliament about how we can become energy literate, to reduce government, personal and business dependence on oil.”

“As a country, we need to be urgently considering renewable energy production and, radically changing the way we consume,” said climate change spokesperson Tariana Turia.

“The reality is that our current lifestyle carries real environmental costs, and we will pay one way or another. The longer we delay implementing an emissions trading scheme, the worse the impact will be,” she said.

“Fossil fuels are half of our Kyoto emissions problem. A strategy for Peak Oil will ease the impacts of an ETS, and make it more acceptable to politicians who are losing their nerve.”

“Some party leaders have said they will only support an ETS if it doesn’t cost households too much. If that’s what they really think, then they need to front up to the real polluters, to big business and industrial farmers, and make sure they pay their fair share,” said Mrs Turia.

“Under the current ETS, 90% of the emissions costs fall on households, while major energy users and industrial dairy giants have no incentive to change their behaviour, because of all the exemptions and credits they are given. It’s outrageous! The ones who need exemptions and credits are families, who have already been hit by increased prices of petrol, milk and cheese - not the big polluters, who are making record profits,” she said.

“The ETS must make polluters pay the costs of their emissions. If they then pass on those Kyoto costs to consumers, at least everyone can see what is happening, and can take some action to reduce the impact. The ETS, as it stands now, simply passes the buck from business onto future taxpayers,” said Mrs Turia.

 “Climate change is a huge global problem,” said Dr Sharples. “But in the short term, the scarcity of cheap energy will be more urgent, so let’s deal with that one for a start.”

“We will be inviting all other parties to adopt our recommendation to establish an urgent Cross-party Parliamentary Commission to develop an over-arching response to the oil crisis,” he said.

“Meanwhile there’s heaps we can all commit to, by reusing, recycling, repairing, respecting, replacing, and upskilling with the information we need to reduce our dependence on oil, as we head into a low energy future,” said Dr Sharples and Mrs Turia.


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