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Govt Shows Climate Sense On Oil Exploration While Luxon On Another Planet

Greenpeace is welcoming the Government’s proposed changes to the Crown Minerals Act released today which remove the purpose of ‘promoting’ fossil fuel exploration and extraction from the Act but is calling for it to go further.

"It’s good to see that the Government is finally getting rid of the promotion of fossil fuel exploration and extraction as an objective from the Crown Minerals Act, added by National in 2013. It should never have been put there in the first place," says Greenpeace Aotearoa senior campaigner Steve Abel.

Greenpeace says the Government's amendment is in stark contrast to National leader Christopher Luxon’s plans to bring back oil and gas drilling - which was ended by the Government in 2018.

"Ending oil and gas exploration is vital for a liveable planet and shows the government is more aligned with the reality of climate change when it comes to fossil fuels, whereas Christopher Luxon - who plans to reopen oil drilling - seems to be living on another planet," says Abel.

"Even the conservative International Energy Agency says that global oil and gas exploration should end immediately if countries are to successfully reach net-zero by 2050.

"No one wants the pollution from our generation to destroy our children’s future. If we are to have a liveable planet, we cannot burn even the existing fossil fuel reserves, let alone look for more.

"It's ridiculous to be both promoting new fossil fuels while supposedly phasing them out and moving away from them. No government that is serious about climate action should have a law requiring the promotion of fossil fuel exploration. Instead they should be doing everything to phase out fossil fuels and boost renewable generation and efficiency," says Abel.

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However Greenpeace says the proposed amendments don’t go far enough and is calling for an end to terrestrial oil and gas exploration permits as well as the removal of the so-called Anadarko Amendment which the National Government introduced to thwart protest at sea.

"The Ardern government is still issuing new onshore oil and gas exploration permits in Taranaki and that needs to stop. To be consistent with climate science, we must end all land-based and offshore fossil fuel exploration.

"The Anadarko Amendment introduced by the John Key National Government was a draconian measure that criminalised protest at sea in order to protect the interests of the oil corporations seeking to drive us all deeper into the climate crisis. It is an affront to democracy and needs to be repealed.

"Here in Aotearoa we have a l ong history of peaceful protest leading to progressive change and that must be protected as a fundamental right.

Greenpeace formed alliances with iwi such as Te Whānau-ā-Apanui in the successful seven-year movement against oil and gas exploration which succeeded in driving Petrobras, Chevron, Statoil, Anadarko, other oil and gas majors out of Aotearoa’s coastal waters before the eventual ban on new exploration permits.

"Luxon has a fight on his hands if he intends to try and undo the hard work of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who defended our oceans, our precious wildlife and our grandchildren from oil spills on our beaches and catastrophic climate change.

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