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No further permits for offshore exploration – PM

“We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there were no tomorrow. To avoid catastrophic climate change, two-thirds of existing reserves have to be left in the ground.”

This extract from a Human Right activist and Nobel Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu was part of his intellectual input on climate change, in one of those Paris conferences called at the behest of the Kofi Annan-led Africa Progress Panel.

While maintaining that the world was already heading toward its brink of extinction from heated oil and gas exploration and extraction said continents like Africa has paid more price than any other continent of the world. It was also his ultimate belief that no region will pay a higher price for failure to tackle it because no region has done less to contribute to the climate crisis now rising to its crescendo.

However to the foremost oil and gas analyst and geoscience expert, Duncan Clarke, Archbishop Tutu’s failure to draw a distinctive line between his vocation and the geoscience profession was intellectually worrisome.

Duncan maintains that Tutu’s proposition as a quasi-cultist view has not and will never draw the sympathy of the vast majority of geoscientists and heads of governments especially in Africa. And according to Duncan, Tutu’s view was not only “another modern manifestation of apocalyptic catastrophism, it was also fundamentally irrational, and if ever implemented” Duncan maintains, “will most likely, and seriously damage world economic growth.”

The New Zealand government therefore says it has stopped forthwith further consideration of permits to companies for offshore oil and gas exploration in the country.

An online news medium reported the Labor government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as saying that the move would not be retrospective, but that the country’s 22 existing offshore exploration permits along with any discoveries made in them could still lead to the granting of production licenses of up to 40 years duration.

Ardern was quoted to have said that the decision was a responsible step that provided certainty for businesses and communities.

“We are striking the right balance for New Zealand,” she said. “We’re protecting existing industry and protecting future generations from climate change.”

Ardern report stated, campaigned strongly on the prevention of climate change during the run-up to last year’s national election.

Some environmental groups our source reported have welcomed the move, branding it a major step forward for New Zealand and a landmark moment in the transition to a clean-energy economy.

The report however quoted the country’s opposition energy spokesman, Jonathan Young as saying that Arden’s decision was only tilting towards “economic vandalism.” Adding that natural gas has helped to ensure New Zealand’s electricity supply, and to allow reserves to run out maybe in a decade’s time means that the country would be forced to import emissions-heavy alternatives like coal from abroad.

“The decision is devoid of any rationale and certainly has nothing to do with climate change,” he said.

Industry lobbyists have also accused the PM of taking decisions without consultations.




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