New Zealand Bans Offshore Exploration for Carbon Neutrality
In exchange for industrialization, modernization, and globalization, we pay the price of environmental destruction. Today, we are experiencing severe climate change, which we can feel in the rise of temperature, massive grass and forest fires, prolonged droughts, and destructive flash floods and landslides due to catastrophic hurricanes.
The widespread use of plastics destroys our marine ecosystem while the usage of oils thins out our ozone layer which then causes global warming.
We’re now paying the price of our environmental degradation, and are on the brink of losing our planet if we don’t act soon. How can we reverse these adverse effects? The answer to that may lie in creating a carbon-neutral future. Let us uncover how this type of future may help us save the environment and why countries like New Zealand have already started taking concrete measures.
What is the Carbon Neutral Future?
The Carbon Neutral Future project aims to decrease the carbon emissions in the environment by becoming less dependent on natural gas, fossil fuels, oil, and coal. It persuades countries to deviate from relying on non-renewable resources and start investing in renewable and green energies like wind energy, solar panels, and more.
As of this writing, countries like Australia, Costa Rica, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and many others signed up to join the Climate Neutral Network. Recently, New Zealand committed to carbon neutrality by banning future offshore explorations to battle against climate change.
A Historic Victory
Just last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced to ban any future offshore oil explorations across the country in an attempt to conserve the environment and decrease carbon emissions. The said move was done as part of her government’s plan to transition towards being carbon-neutral by 2050. Ardern heads the Labour coalition government that won the election last year due to their commitment to tackling climate change.
Ardern clarified though that the ban only applies to new permits, it doesn’t affect the existing 22 offshore explorations. She believes the new ban can help save around 100,000 sq. km of the country’s marine environment. Aside from that, one of Ardern’s cornerstone policies is to shift New Zealand’s electricity generation to renewable resources by 2035.
Greenpeace New Zealand lauded the government’s move to preserve the environment. They hailed this as a “historical moment” for the country. This action also serves as a huge win for the people and our climate. Last month, Greenpeace filed a petition urging the government to end offshore gas and oil exploration. The petition holds around 50,000 strong signature campaigns across the country.
Norman also reiterates that Ardern’s announcement impacts the international market too. NZ currently holds the fourth largest EEZ (exclusive economic zone) on the planet and is now out of reach from fossil fuel exploitation. The country stood up from investing the most booming industries in the world. He also lauded Ardern’s bold leadership and stance against the greatest climate challenge our world faces today.
Meanwhile, the opposition slammed the government’s move because according to them, the ban would only halt New Zealand’s economic progress. Jonathan Young, the spokesman for National’s energy, and resources states that the ban will ensure the industry’s downfall that currently provides over 8,000 high-paying jobs in the country.
Moreover, the offshore exploration contributes an astounding $2.5 billion for the country’s economy. Banning the industry can cause a massive downhill slide for New Zealand’s currently booming economy. He also stated the said action was devoid of any rationale. It didn’t mean the said ban could reduce carbon emissions. Instead, it only shifts its production elsewhere in the world. He remarks the ban certainly doesn’t make a massive impact in stopping fossil fuel exploration around the world.
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