As COP28 ends with a historic signal that the era of fossil fuels is ending, Greenpeace Aotearoa says the New Zealand government has been left exposed as ” climate extremists” with their plan to bring back offshore oil and gas exploration.
Overnight, Governments agreed to transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems – the first time all fossil fuels have been referenced in a COP decision.
Amanda Larsson, head of campaigns at Greenpeace Aotearoa, says “Despite the oil industry’s best efforts, and after immense pressure from civil society, COP28 has signalled the end of the fossil fuel industry. Luxon, Peters and Seymour now sound even more extreme in their delusional plan to restart oil and gas exploration during a climate crisis.”
Larsson noted the critical role that civil society and activism have played in getting to this point.
“The fossil fuel era is not simply ending because of a decision made by governments – it has taken decades of action and resistance by indigenous groups, environmental groups and millions of people all around the world fighting to protect both people and planet from the world’s biggest polluters.
“With a Government of climate extremists here in Aotearoa, it will be up to people-power to make Prime Minister Luxon stick to the Paris Agreement commitments and to ensure the end to fossil fuels is not delayed by more oil and gas exploration.
“We’ve fought the oil and gas industry before and won. A powerful movement of iwi, hapū, environmental groups and hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders sustained a strong and successful resistance against offshore oil and gas exploration. One by one, oil company after oil company, we resisted and eventually won a ban on all new offshore oil exploration. We’ll do it again if we have to.”
Greenpeace Aotearoa has launched an open letter to the oil and gas industry, promising to resist any attempt at oil and gas exploration if the new Government overturns the oil and gas ban. More than fifteen thousand New Zealanders have signed on since it was launched.
The New Zealand Government won the first Fossil of the Day award at COP28 for its plans to restart oil exploration, and Greenpeace has launched a billboard campaign in Wellington calling out Christopher Luxon, David Seymour and Winston Peters as “climate extremists”.