Friday, November 12, 2021

Climate Change: Will NZ end fossil fuels?

Good news: New Zealand apparently signed up with other countries to set an end date for fossil fuels:

A group of countries at the COP26 climate summit have committed to setting an end date for oil and gas exploration and extraction.

The alliance is led by Costa Rica and Denmark, and includes Ireland, France and Greenland.

New Zealand has joined the alliance as an associate member, as has the US state of California.

Aotearoa cannot have core status because of the ongoing provision of on-shore drilling permits, especially in Taranaki.

This sounds good, except just yesterday we had the unpleasant sight of James Shaw saying that the UN's call for countries to come back with more ambitious climate pledges next year somehow didn't apply to us - a statement which saw him win a well-deserved Fossil of the Day. So it's unclear if this is a real commitment, or just more PR from a duplicitous, fossil fuel-addicted government.

But what if it was real? It would mean we'd need to legislate to immediately stop issuing new exploration, prospecting and mining permits for fossils fuels, and to sunset existing permits (and the sooner, the better). There's a stab at what such legislation would look like here. Any MP serious about ending the fossil fuel industry in Aotearoa is welcome to put it in the ballot.