Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Climate Change: WTF Labour?

Two months ago the International Energy Agency sent a clear message: if we want to have even a 50% chance of avoiding dangerous levels of climate change and making much of the earth uninhabitable, there can be no new fossil fuel development. No new coal. No new oil. No exploitation or development of gas. So naturally, the Labour government is handing out new permits to explore for gas in Taranaki:

Six months after a climate emergency was declared, the government has granted two new fossil fuel exploration permits – a move that energy experts say is at odds with the global goal to limit global warming to 1.5C.


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today announced that two New Zealand-owned companies – Greymouth Gas Turangi and Riverside Energy – would be allowed to explore two separate areas in Taranaki, in the hopes of finding oil and gas. The permits allow this work to begin today and will last for 10 years.

The permits resulted from applications made in 2019.

I guess that "nuclear-free moment" was gas-powered or something...

This is pretty obviously inconsistent with our climate change goals, and possibly ripe for a legal challenge if NZPAM failed to properly consider climate change impacts of keeping the gas tap open. But its also just a mistake. This industry needs to end. And with the way the policy ground is shifting, I would expect legislation to do so - guillotining exploration permits and sunsetting mining permits and associated resource consents - within five years. So Greymouth Gas and Riverside Energy have just got themselves some stranded assets. And given the two decades of clear warnings about what needs to happen, they deserve to lose any money they spend trying to develop them.