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Government needs to come clean

Government needs to come clean on its own fossil fuel subsidies

Wellington, New Zealand (30 November) - As the United Nations summit on climate change opens in Paris, John Key will tonight present a communique to the assembled governments on the need to end fossil fuel subsidies, while at home his government continues to subsidise fossil fuel extraction.

The communique, created by the ‘Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform’, of which the New Zealand government is a founding member, calls on governments to adhere to three overriding principles for reform: transparency, ambition and safeguarding the poorest.

“WWF fully supports removing fossil fuel subsides but if the New Zealand government is going to call for them it needs to back that up by removing its own subsidies, said WWF-NZ Head of Campaigns, Peter Hardstaff.

“The New Zealand government fails the key principles of the communique it is presenting to the UN. There is no transparency about their subsidies and there appears to be no ambition to remove them.

A 2013, WWF-New Zealand report revealed that the government was subsidising the fossil fuel industry by at least $46 million dollars a year.

In response to an OIA request last month, the government is now refusing to reveal how much it provides in tax breaks for petroleum mining on the basis that it no longer collects that information.

“The NZ government needs to come clean about how much it is subsidising the fossil fuel industry before it can credibly issue a call for other countries to be transparent, said Mr Hardstaff.

ENDS

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