There’s been a lot of discussion about our decision to stop granting offshore oil exploration permits in New Zealand and what it will mean for the future of our regions.
We’re proud to be leading the way to a net zero emissions economy and we’re excited about a future fuelled by renewable energy. However, we know change isn’t always straightforward, which is why we’re planning a fair and responsible transition away from fossil fuels.
If you’re still not sure what this decision means for you and your whānau, check out these five key facts about our move towards a more sustainable New Zealand:
1. Climate change is happening and hard choices have to be made.
New Zealand has a history of standing up on the big issues – we were the first country where women won the vote, we went nuclear free in the 1980s, and we opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now we believe we have a duty to stand up and do our bit in the fight against climate change. This is why we’re restricting fossil fuel exploration in New Zealand. We’ve announced there will be no new offshore oil and gas exploration permits this year, and only limited new onshore permits. However, all existing permits will remain protected.
2. Changes won’t happen overnight. But they do need to happen.
We’re facing a future where resources like oil and gas are finite. We have to draw a line in the sand and make a decision around when we stop oil exploration and transition to new, renewable energy.
New Zealand can take the lead on climate change, just like we have on other issues, such as the nuclear free movement and votes for women. But to do this, we need to start now.
3. We have a plan to support people working in the oil and gas industry.
Last month’s announcement was long-term notice that change is happening. We need to begin working towards a fair and responsible transition.
By acting now, we can ensure a just transition by providing time and certainty for communities that have traditionally relied on fossil fuels, such as Taranaki, to diversify. It’s part of our long-term plan to move to a net zero emissions economy, while making sure our regions remain great places to live and work.
4. We’ve already started helping regions future-proof.
We know that for New Zealand to do well, our provinces must thrive. Through the Provincial Growth Fund, we’re supporting new regional projects that create sustainable jobs, contribute to community wellbeing, and help meet New Zealand’s climate change targets. We’ve already committed $20 million to Taranaki to help future-proof the region, and will be investing $3 billion in regional projects over the next three years.
5. We’re protecting future generations of Kiwis.
One of the biggest challenges any Government faces is making sure they look beyond the next three years to plan for the next thirty and fifty years. We’re making decisions today that strike the right balance for New Zealand: protecting existing industry while also protecting future generations from extreme climate change.