Nationwide youth organisation Generation Zero is calling on the Government to show it takes climate change seriously and stop subsidising fossil fuels, following the release of a report from WWF-New Zealand revealing oil and gas subsidies to the tune of $46 million per year.
The report released today shows that the National Government’s support for the oil and gas industry through tax breaks and gifting of free exploration data and research has risen from $6 million in 2009 to $46 million today. Consumption subsidies for offroad fuel use add a further $39 million.
Spokesperson Paul Young said: "John Key’s Government has ramped up its financial and political support for fossil fuel industries in spite of the growing urgency to transition to clean energy."
"This is a slap in the face to young people.
"International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol has said fossil fuel subsidies are ‘public enemy number one for green energy’.
"New Zealand is the envy of the world with its opportunities for clean, renewable energy to power our electricity, transport and industry needs. It’s 100% possible for us to move beyond fossil fuels.
"A government taking New Zealand’s longterm interests seriously would be getting behind the opportunities for a clean energy economy, rather than giving taxpayerfunded gifts to overseas oil companies."
Generation Zero is calling on the Government to cancel the tax breaks and other subsidies and redirect this money to support clean energy developments, such as installing solar panels onto the roofs of Housing New Zealand’s 70,000 homes as suggested by WWFNZ in their report.
Mr Young: "The imperative to cut these subsidies is especially strong given that New Zealand has been an outspoken advocate for global fossil fuel subsidy reform. Generation Zero fully supports this stance, and it is time that our government started walking the walk.
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