6 August 2018

Call for Wellington Mayor to Ban Petroleum Conference

Local climate group 350 Wellington are inviting Wellingtonians to join the call for Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester to kick fossil fuel companies out of Wellington by banning the Petroleum Conference from council-owned venues.

“It’s unacceptable for the council to allow such a harmful industry in Wellington’s public venues,” said 350 Wellington spokesperson Claudia Palmer. “Our city is at risk from climate related flooding, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events, and we must hold the industry responsible to account rather than welcome them in. Our mayor has a duty to stand up for what’s right on behalf of our city.”

Mayor Justin Lester has said “Climate change is the most pressing issue of my generation” and stated that “how we plan, grow, and build our cities is going to be critical in the global fight against climate change.” He and his fellow councillors take climate change – and its effect on our city – very seriously.

Yet several times over the past five years, including in 2018, the council has also supported the fossil fuel industry, the industry most responsible for climate change globally – by allowing the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) to hold their conference in council venues.

At this annual event, deals are done to secure new oil and gas projects, exploration and extraction products are showcased and ministers lobbied, so that the petroleum industry can expand, and continue to wreck our climate.

350 Wellington are calling for the conference to be banned from council venues as a matter of principle, and for the council to develop a clear set of ethical guidelines around appropriate use of publicly funded venues.
Wellington City Council have a $2 million capital fund aside for one year alone, to address the impact of climate change on our parks, reserves and other network infrastructure. Yet conference organisers at PEPANZ want to celebrate New Zealand oil and gas being “poised for action and ready for growth.”

“The fossil fuel industry already has more oil and gas reserves on their books than our climate can afford for us to use. “It’s time for Justin Lester and the council to take bold action and make it clear PEPANZ is not welcome, so we can concentrate on building our “Absolutely, positively fossil free future.”


Sign the petition here