The Government’s new Energy Strategy 2011-2021 is a death knell to NZ’s clean, green and sustainable future.
“While Acting Minister Hekia Parata pays lip service to renewable energy and environmental responsibility for the so-called ‘benefit of all New Zealanders’, she commits to a wholesale sell off of our precious natural resources, leaving nothing but scraps and environmental degradation for our kids.” says Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.
The current petroleum permit map (see left, from NZ PAM website) presents a grim picture of a country already carved up for the ever hungry fossil fuel industry. The annual Block Offers proposed for 2012 onwards will leave little room for top-grade nature-based tourism, organic agriculture, sustainable fishing and the clean air and healthy environment that we boast so much about. Many of these sectors are already suffering as the country’s clean, green ethic is being destroyed by ‘dirty’ big business. The Energy Strategy is putting all New Zealanders at the mercy of an increasingly risky global market with companies that put profit and shareholder interest above all else. The rush to exploit hydrocarbon resources in on and offshore settings by so many companies at once is already going far beyond the regulatory and management capacities of local, regional and national governments.
The dangers from such a short-sighted policy are clear and present, in our tectonically active and wave battered environment. These include more offshore oil spills and gas leaks and the poorly controlled injection, leaking and landfarming of highly toxic chemicals into our soils, rivers, aquifers and air. Indeed several of the companies responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oilspill and fracking disasters overseas are now exploring here.
On the global scale, this headlong rush for fossil fuels will see our emissions continue to increase, taking our planet into a catastrophic period of climate change with unpredictable storms, floods, drought, erosion, disease breakouts and social unrest.
“All these risks are taken, simply for a projected short-term increase in royalties that may or may not be delivered. The bulk of the profit goes into private hands while the promised jobs will be short term employment in a dying industry that continues to prop up an unsustainable, oil-reliant national infrastructure. Instead we should be promoting a major reduction in energy use, more energy efficiency technologies and a proper plan for localised, low-impact, renewable energy nationwide.” said Bailey.
“Our people need employment but in a sustainable economy that will continue to provide for the many generations yet to come.” concluded Bailey.
Climate Justice Taranaki