New Zealand Steps Up Climate Change Fight With Exploration Ban - Bloomberg
New Zealand will stop granting offshore oil and gas exploration permits, saying it is committed to playing its part in tackling climate change.
The government is taking “an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Thursday in Wellington. It will limit the 2018 offer of exploration permits to onshore acreage in the oil-rich province of Taranaki, she said, adding existing exploration and any future mining permits are unaffected by the decision.
Ardern came to power last year after her Labour Party and its ally the Greens campaigned on policies to protect the environment, including moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels. Her government plans to plant a billion trees over 10 years and wants to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035 as it seeks to reduce carbon emissions after signing up to the Paris climate accord.
The opposition National Party called the move “economic vandalism.” It will put thousands of jobs at risk and do nothing to tackle climate change because production will simply move elsewhere in the world, the party said.