Sunday, July 25, 2021
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HomePoliticalGroups Launch Petition To Ban All New Fossil Fuel Expansion By 2022

Groups Launch Petition To Ban All New Fossil Fuel Expansion By 2022


Over twenty groups so far, representing communities
across Aotearoa directly affected by mining and drilling
alongside iwi representatives, students, environment and
health organisations such as Coal Action Aotearoa Network,
Climate Justice Taranaki, Taranaki Energy Watch, Ora Taiao,
Fridays for Future, 350, Generation Zero, Oxfam, Forest
& Bird and WWF launched a petition with protests today,
calling on the government to end all new fossil fuel
extraction as soon as next year.

The petition calls to
“ban any new oil and gas prospecting, exploration and
mining permits including extensions of existing permits in
Taranaki and to ban any new coal mines or expansion of
existing coal mines in Aotearoa by 2022.” It also focuses
on existing permits calling for “an end to prospecting,
exploration and re-drilling in all existing fossil fuel
permits by 2025 to allow only for current production to come
to an end.”

“Essentially the petition is an urgent
demand that the government do more and do it faster to
transition us off fossil fuels,” says Climate Justice
Taranaki spokesperson Tuhi-Ao Bailey. “We can’t ask for
communities to urgently reduce their energy use and change
their lifestyles while the government still allows fossil
fuel companies to continue extraction for decades. We are in
a climate emergency and need to transition off fossil fuels
urgently. Carbon neutral by 2050 is far too
late.”

“Energy provinces hold solutions for energy
security in Aotearoa through demonstrating a substantial
reduction and re-prioritisation of energy use across all
sectors with careful investment in public controlled
renewable energies, a shift from the export-import economy
to a domestic focused economy, and investment in our
communities to transition safely and fairly off fossil
fuels.”

“The oil and gas industry has exploited
Taranaki for over a century,” says Sarah Roberts of
Taranaki Energy Watch. “The contaminant discharges of the
industry into the land, water and air degrade our
environment and negatively impact on the people who live
nearby. A recent Court case and local district plan shows
there are potential fatality risks and consequences beyond
the boundaries of petroleum sites.”

“2021 has seen
an alarming increase of petroleum activities in Taranaki,
with Todd Energy’s 24 new wells being drilled around
Tikorangi and Greymouth Petroleum’s widespread seismic
surveys across the province. Seismic surveys using
explosives or vibroseis trucks are highly invasive, with
risks of damage to water supply, structures, land value and
the well-being of people and animals. The industry does not
have a social license to continue to operate in
Taranaki.”

Tim Jones, spokesperson for Coal Action
Network Aotearoa said “the coal industry continues to seek
resource consents for new and expanded coal mines, despite
the social and environmental harms locally and globally, and
the urgent need for heat plants, boilers and electricity
generation to transition to 100% renewable energy. There is
no place for new or expanded coal mines in a climate
emergency. We need a planned, just transition to low-carbon
jobs for coal mining communities.”

“The
continuation of coal, oil and gas exploration, extraction
and reliance is not consistent with our obligations to
reduce greenhouse emissions and contribute to keeping global
warming below 1.5C. Energy experts like Dr Sven Teske, the
UNEP Production Gap Report, and even the International
Energy Agency now all agree that there’s no room for new
fossil fuel production if we are to limit warming to 1.5ºC.
Aotearoa is not doing enough and has been pushed to give
multinational companies like Methanex and Rio Tinto a free
ride while stockpiling masses of unspent carbon credits from
polluters and not planting enough trees fast enough to
counter our emissions.”

“Current petroleum
production permits alone can allow for transition away from
fossil fuels if serious efforts are put into reducing and
re-prioritising energy use,” continued Bailey. “Methanex
alone uses up 40% of Taranaki’s fossil gas production to
essentially make plastic. Early closure of the plant, before
the currently suggested 2040, would free up substantial
amounts of energy needed for essential services and
transitioning communities instead”.

“The Taranaki
Regional and District Councils Mayors, along with many
others, have all signed onto the Local Government Leaders
Climate Change Declaration. It is time to deliver the
promises – implement ambitious emissions reduction action
plans and support resilience within councils and local
communities. These will substantially benefit our
communities, create new jobs and business opportunities,
improve public health, and create stronger, more connected
communities.”

Link to the petition https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/no-new-petroleum-permits-in-onshore-taranaki-no-new-or-expanded-coal-mines-in-aotearoa

Groups
in support of the petition:

Climate Justice
Taranaki

Taranaki Energy Watch

Coal Action
Network Aotearoa
Ora Taiao: New Zealand Climate and
Health Council
Pou Take Ahuarangi, National Iwi Chairs
Forum

Para Kore
Pacific Panther Network
Te Waka
Hourua
Generation Zero
Fridays for Future,
Wellington
350 Aotearoa
Oxfam Aotearoa
Royal Forest
and Bird Protection Society of NZ
Parents For Climate
Aotearoa
Environment & Conservation Organisation of
Aotearoa NZ (ECO)
World Wildlife Foundation
(WWF-NZ)
Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa
NZ
Environmental Justice Otepoti
Frack Free Aotearoa
NZ
Ecologic Foundation
Wise Response Society
Inc
Waikato Environment Centre Trust (Go Eco)
Stop The
Coal Monster Campaign, Nelson Tasman
The Rubbish
Trip

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