The pressure is building against oil, gas and coal companies in Aotearoa who continue to push for fossil fuel extraction with increasing community calls to curb climate change. Protesters will be gathering outside Todd Energy, Beach Energy and OMV tomorrow Tuesday 9 October.
The proposed amendments of the Crown Minerals Act, while banning new offshore exploratory permits, allows existing permit holders to keep drilling, and for new exploratory permits to be issued onshore in Taranaki. The amendments also take away protection of conservation lands, such as the national park, by allowing companies to conduct so-called ‘minimum impact activities’ within them.
“Climate scientists are warning us today that it will take ‘far more aggressive’ efforts to limit warming to just 1.5 degrees and alleviate catastrophic impacts. Yet government policies continue to encourage resource exploitation and ignore the root cause of our climate crisis – economic growth from exploitation of the environment and people. It is up to everyone to turn this around and pressure decision makers and companies to get out of extractive industries,” said Emily Bailey of Climate Justice Taranaki.
Community pressure is rising across the country, with actions by Greenpeace, Oil Free Wellington, Oil Free Otago, other community groups and the Global Frack Down this month. Climate Justice Taranaki is holding weekly protests in New Plymouth, targeting the various oil companies operating here such as OMV, AWE, Beach Energy, Tamarind Resources, Tag Oil, Todd Energy and Greymouth Petroleum.
“The message is clear: destroying our future for profit is completely unacceptable. Investors need to pull out of this criminal industry based on exploitation and pollution and give their money to regenerative agriculture, native forest plantings and community projects. These greedy companies have been warring over resources and destroying natural habitats for far too long. Their profit is our exploitation and we will not stand for it.” said Bailey.
“Just transition must be genuine. Investing tens of millions of dollars now in hydrogen research and locking in multi-decadal assets for it, is not ‘just transition’ if natural gas is used as the feed-stock and power source. The claim for clean hydrogen is true only when water is used as feed-stock and renewable energies power the process. Sadly, this is unlikely to be the case in Taranaki, as it is not globally. PEPANZ’s statement earlier welcomed hydrogen development and referred to carbon capture and storage. These are unproven technologies that do nothing but prolong the fossil fuel industry.” said Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.
“Beware of ‘false solutions’ that waste precious time and resources. What we need now are climate actions that constitute true solutions. The focus must be on substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering social equity and building community resilience while every aspect of society weans themselves off fossil fuel reliance,” concluded Cheung.