Healthy economic decision to end off-shore oil exploration
27 September 2018
OraTaiao welcomes the government’s amendment bill to stop offering new oil permits as a sound decision for NZ’s economy and our health. This bill is a step in the right direction to protect the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders and meet our Paris obligations.
“It’s very clear that almost all the oil, gas and coal we already know about needs to stay in the ground - they can’t be burnt because of the implications for climate change and human health. This makes further exploration foolish,” said Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenor of OraTaiao: NZ Climate and Health Council after the introduction of the Crown Minerals (Petroleum) Amendment Bill on Monday.
“The recent Regulatory Impact Statement completed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment makes the mistake of assuming that any reserves which might be found can be commercialised. However, many leading global investors agree that any new reserves will be worthless “stranded assets” - leaving the government and investors with debts, not profits.
Neither does MBIE’s statement account for the cost to human health and wellbeing caused by the continuing use of fossil fuels, or our failure to support fossil-fuel dependent communities to make a transition to a low-carbon economies. Continued exploration and extraction means leaving these communities high and dry in a world that is rapidly moving away from fossil fuels.
We need to get on track to zero emissions by 2040 in order to avert a health crisis. The next steps include a rapid phase out of existing off- and on-shore exploration and extraction to protect and promote health in our zero-carbon future.