Auckland May 19 2011:
Budget Deals Another Blow To Clean Energy Race
New Zealand’s chances of winning a place in the global clean energy race have been dealt another blow by today’s budget, Greenpeace NZ says.
“The Government have missed a golden opportunity to create jobs, stimulate a sustainable economic recovery and tackle climate change by ignoring our home grown potential in the clean energy sector,” says Greenpeace NZ Climate Campaigner Nathan Argent.
“Instead, the Government is heavily subsidising the nation’s biggest polluters with taxpayer’s money - to the tune of nearly a billion dollars.
“Globally, more money is now invested in clean energy than on fossil fuels, as the world moves away from its dependence on heavily polluting fuels. Yet the Government has failed to grasp the huge opportunity that lies within our own universities and clean technology businesses.
“Despite being in a far worse recession than the one felt here, the UK Government’s latest budget put aside three billion pounds to set up the Green Investment Bank, designed to stimulate clean energy expansion in the UK,” Argent says.
“But here there is virtually no sign that the Government has even heard of clean energy.”
A PricewaterhouseCoopers report has put the potential value of a local clean-tech sector at up to $22 billion a year.
“Without the R&D funds, and the finance options being offered by our overseas competitors, those bright ideas are far less likely to ever appear in the clean-tech marketplace,” says Argent.
“And New Zealand, as usual, will be failing to do its bit to fight the climate crisis.
“John Key has been talking about how future generations of New Zealanders should not be saddled by our debt. And that’s quite true. But this budget will instead help saddle them with a world in which there is runaway climate change,” says Argent.