Seymour: Banning oil exploration will hurt the environment

Casey Dawson
April 14, 2018

New Zealand will stop granting offshore oil and gas exploration permits, saying it is committed to playing its part in tackling climate change.

Her government, elected past year, has ambitious goals of generating all power in New Zealand from renewable sources by 2035 and becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Ardern claimed that her government is striking the right balance by protecting the existing industry and at the same time shielding future generation from climate change.

He says renewable energy can provide nearly all New Zealand's electricity needs in a year of normal rainfall.

The move will not affect existing permits for exploration or extraction, meaning the industry is likely to continue in the nation for several more decades.

The prime minister made clear that the government would honor existing offshore exploration permits.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ahern shocked New Zealand's small oil industry by ruling out any new exploration permits for drilling while the country strives towards a "carbon-neutral" economy.

"This will be my first meeting with Her Majesty so I'm very much looking forward to sharing this government's vision for New Zealand and our priorities".

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Francis said that he was convinced of Barros" innocence and demanded "proof' of abuse before he would speak out against him. In August 2017, the Marist Brothers reported that a member of the congregation had admitted to abusing 14 boys in Chile.

Also, the ban does not cover onshore oil and gas exploration, so permit issuance for onshore blocks will continue.

Their argument is that New Zealand is a relatively tiny producer of oil and gas, and what it doesn't produce in the future will quickly and easily be taken up by other countries.

"We will be working with the Taranaki community and businesses in particular on this as a long-term project. ensuring there is a just transition to a clean energy future", Ms Ardern said.

The energy industry slammed the government for banning offshore exploration while environmentalists praised it. "By ending new oil and gas exploration in our waters, the fourth largest Exclusive Economic Zone on the planet is out of bounds for new fossil fuel exploitation", Norman said.

Interest in oil exploration in New Zealand has waned in recent years due to lower global oil prices, with only one permit issued in 2017, compared with 10 in 2014.

National's Energy and Resources spokesman Jonathan Young said the permit decision was devoid of rationale.

Greenpeace Executive Director, Russel Norman, said it was a "historic moment, and a huge win for our climate and people power". "These changes will simply shift production elsewhere in the world, not reduce emissions", he said.

Climate Justice Taranaki member Urs Signer welcomed the Government's decision to cease offshore permitting, but criticised the continued onshore permitting around Taranaki, describing it as "continuing to sacrifice Taranaki for political trade-off".

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