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Greenpeace Welcomes Green Party Plan To Boost Solar And End Coal/Gas

Greenpeace is applauding the Green Party on their energy policy announcement today but seeks assurances that the Greens will make phasing out fossil fuels and investing in distributed renewable energy a bottom line in any potential coalition negotiations.

Today the Green Party released their Clean Energy Plan, which includes grants for households to adopt solar power, support for community energy schemes and a commitment to phase out industrial use of coal by 2030 and gas by 2035. An end to onshore oil and gas permits, a clean energy training programme and a plan to solarise all social homes are also part of the policy.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, Amanda Larsson, has welcomed the policy, saying:

"We’re pleased to see the Green Party presenting a bold vision for transitioning the New Zealand energy system away from its reliance on the dirty fuels that drive climate change."

"The Australian bushfires and this autumn’s droughts are a stark reminder that we’re experiencing a climate crisis. We urgently need to phase out the polluting fuels that are causing this crisis - oil, gas and coal - and replace them with clean energy."

"New technologies like solar, wind and batteries allow us to power our homes, businesses and transport systems with energy made right in our communities, owned and looked after by the people who use it. It’s good to see the Greens committing to seize this opportunity."

While Greenpeace has applauded the policy, Larsson says they still need convincing that the Green Party’s wishlist of energy initiatives will translate into action, should the Greens form part of the next Government.

"The Green Party needs to assure New Zealanders that they will make climate change and renewable energy a non-negotiable bottom line in any potential coalition agreement.

"This term we’ve seen a number of strong Green Party policies stutter and stall, such as the promised electric vehicle ‘feebate’. Climate change doesn’t negotiate. We need political leaders that will stand firm in their commitment to safeguard the natural world that we all depend on."

Greenpeace is calling on all political parties to commit to using the Covid-19 recovery as a springboard from which to build back better and address the worsening climate and environmental crises.

"Today’s young people will need to deal with the debt from our economic response to Covid-19. We must build back in ways that create a more secure and resilient future for our children.

"As we invest in creating jobs to address the impacts of the pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to build back better," says Larsson.

"Our aspiring political representatives must be bold and forward-thinking about the economic rebuild project ahead. As well as investments in renewable energy, we need to see political parties committing to support farmers to shift away from intensive industrial agriculture to regenerative farming.

"Policies should include pledges to expand and electrify the rail network and public transport. And political parties must commit to fixing New Zealand’s plastic waste problem by replacing single-use plastic bottles with systems that collect bottles for sterilisation, refill and reuse."

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