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NZ receives ‘Fossil of the Day’ at UN climate conference

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New Zealand receives ‘Fossil of the Day’ award at United Nations climate change conference

New Zealand has been awarded the notorious ‘Fossil of the Day’ award at the 22nd annual United Nations climate change conference for showing hypocrisy towards fossil fuel subsidy reforms. New Zealand was exposed in its support of the oil and gas industries despite having ratified the Paris Agreement, under which goals have been set which would require at least 80% of fossil fuels needing to remain unburned globally.

“This afternoon, Climate Change Ambassador Mark Sinclair chaired a side event on the need to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and will likely encourage other countries to remove those subsidies.  At the same time, the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website advertises the exciting oil and gas exploration prospects that are available in our country, stating the Government's aim to increase the value of New Zealand petroleum tenfold a year by 2025,” Alex Johnston, member of New Zealand Youth Delegation and Fossil Free UoA explains.

New Zealand is a founding member and champion of the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, a group whose aim is to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. New Zealand’s policies have been reviewed by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), who found that they do not have any inefficient subsidies encouraging wasteful consumption of fossil fuels.

However, the quote from the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website makes the hypocrisy of the country’s presence in such a group clear.

“Not only is the New Zealand government hoping to increase the value of petroleum exports in the future — they’re already providing tax breaks and funding the scientific research that is needed by these industries before they will commit to exploration in New Zealand waters.”

The support provided by the government to the oil and gas industries amounted to $46 million NZD in 2012/2013 as identified by WWF New Zealand.

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