As a new climate loss and damage fund is operationalised on the first day of the COP28 UN climate conference, Greenpeace Aotearoa is condemning the New Zealand Government’s decision to restart offshore fossil fuel exploration, which will only lead to more loss and damage.
Greenpeace Aotearoa Executive Director Russel Norman says, “While it’s good to see the new loss and damage fund operationalised unless countries like New Zealand who are committed to new fossil fuel development change their tune, this fund will only be the ambulance at the bottom of a cliff.”
“Loss and damage funding is important for supporting communities bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, but we cannot allow new loss and damage to occur when we have the ability to stop it. That means cutting climate pollution now – regulating polluting industries like the intensive dairy sector, and committing to an end to the fossil fuel era.
“The New Zealand Government’s policy to reopen the oceans for new offshore oil and gas exploration is totally at odds with the global call for a fossil fuel phase-out at COP28 and with the intent to pay for loss and damage caused by climate change.”
The loss and damage fund saw more than $400 million USD mobilised by wealthy countries to go to countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis.
Greenpeace International has a delegation on the ground at COP28. Tracy Carty, Global Political Expert at Greenpeace International, says, “For too long, communities least responsible for causing the climate crisis have borne the brunt of climate impacts. This agreement is a vital first step towards ensuring communities get the support they desperately need – but stops short of the fund communities deserve. What’s unclear is where the money is going to come from. When it comes to financing the Loss and Damage Fund, the outcome of this COP must confirm that rich countries with the greatest contribution to climate change will lead the way. And that the fossil fuel industry, which continues to reap billions by exploiting fossil fuels, pays for the harm they have caused.”
Norman says, “Not only should the fossil fuel industry pay for the harm they’ve caused, but they should be phased out for good. The first step is not allowing any more oil and gas exploration around the world, and we’re committed to resisting any attempt to do so here in Aotearoa.”
Greenpeace Aotearoa has launched an open letter to the oil and gas industry, committing to resist any attempt at new oil and gas exploration. Nearly fifteen thousand people have signed on since its launch.