New Zealand wants to end its ban on oil and gas exploration

New Zealand wants to end its ban on oil and gas exploration

New Zealand's government said on Sunday it intends to rescind its 2018 ban on oil and gas exploration, sparking outrage from the opposition and environmental groups.

“Natural gas is critical for us to light and run our economy, especially during peak consumption,” New Zealand Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Shane Jones explained in a press release.

The Minister also plans to ease tender procedures for oil exploration applications.

He said that the oil and mining sector contributed more than $1.6 billion to the gross domestic product in 2020-2021.

“When the previous government [travailliste] Blocked exploration in 2018 […] “This has also led to a reduction in investments in the ongoing development of our known gas fields,” added the minister, a member of the center-right government that has been in power since November.

Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick responded to the announcement by saying the government was “fueling the fire of climate change with gas and oil”.

“We can achieve a more sustainable and efficient economy by prioritizing clean energy,” she said.

This announcement comes a day after protests were held in several major cities in New Zealand, opposing another government initiative that wants to stimulate the economy.

This other bill would speed up the permitting process for major infrastructure projects and bypass many environmental regulations.

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