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New report 'demands a rethink on oil'

New report 'demands a rethink on oil', WWF

Conservation organisation WWF-New Zealand is calling on the government to rethink its hands-off approach to future oil prices as a new report published today by the New Zealand Parliament warns of impending price shocks.

The Parliamentary Research Paper, titled 'The Next Oil Shock', assesses the evidence on what will happen to oil prices over the next 5 years and concludes that supply crunches and price spikes are very likely, leaving the New Zealand economy exposed.

Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Campaigner at WWF-New Zealand said: "Opinion polling in August showed the majority of New Zealanders do not support the government's 'do nothing' approach outlined in its draft energy strategy. Most want investment in more sustainable transport options like buses and trains to prepare for oil price increases [1]. When it comes to helping New Zealand cope with this problem, right now the government is asleep at the wheel. This new report should act as a wake up call."

In July, the government published a new draft Energy Strategy which stated that, "Ultimately uptake of new energy sources and technologies will depend on the decisions made by consumers as they respond to oil prices."

Nearly 4000 public submissions [2] to the official consultation were made, most of which called on the government to focus on more renewable electricity generation and more sustainable forms of transport. Opinion polling released by WWF in August showed that 72% of New Zealanders want investment in developing public transport and alternatives to petrol and diesel while only 24% support the current hands off approach.

Peter Hardstaff, Climate Change Campaigner at WWF-New Zealand said: "The timing of this report is fortunate. Right now the government is redrafting its Energy Strategy and needs to take heed of this research as well as the views of the thousands who provided input on the first draft. There is still time to put a plan in place that can help New Zealand transition towards being a more sustainable, less oil dependent country. WWF calls on the government to develop a coherent strategy that includes investment in more sustainable transport options and the development of home-grown biofuels."

Notes to editors

• The research was conducted using Colmar Brunton's telephone omnibus, a survey of 500 New Zealanders aged 18 and over. Interviewing was conducted from 10 to 16 August, 2010. The results are post-weighted to reflect New Zealand population statistics in terms of gender, age and region, and have a maximum margin of error of +/-4.4%.

• For WWF-NZ's previous press releases about the New Zealand Draft Energy Strategy see:
http://www.wwf.org.nz/media_centre/?5182/WWF-concerned-as-government-tells-oil-industry-energy-strategy-is-a-done-deal

http://www.wwf.org.nz/media_centre/?4980/Research-finds-Government-draft-energy-strategy-at-odds-with-majority-of-New-Zealanders

http://www.wwf.org.nz/media_centre/?4840/Draft-energy-strategy-riddled-with-holes

The Parliamentary report can be found here: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/ParlSupport/ResearchPapers/4/6/a/00PLEco10041-The-next-oil-shock.htm

ENDS

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