350 Aotearoa is calling the government’s new climate change plan ‘meaningless’ after oil and gas exploration and mining on conservation land have dominated their policy announcements since the election.

350 Aotearoa co-director Lisa Mclaren says “Experts tell us that in order to meet the Paris targets, 65% of all oil and gas reserves – and 90% of all coal reserves – must be left in the ground. It’s as simple as that – meeting New Zealand’s Paris obligations, requires a focus on phasing out fossil fuels. Yet this government has made no plans to do the thing that really matters – phasing out fossil fuels. Either the government is committed to meeting our climate change targets, or they can fast-track oil, gas and coal mining. They cannot do both.”

Minister of Climate Change Simon Watts speaks during question time at Parliament in March (Source: Getty)

“It is ridiculous that the government is putting such a focus on adapting to climate change whilst actively promoting policies like mining and oil exploration that will make it worse.” McLaren says, “We need to push our politicians to not just invest in affordable clean energy, but to send a strong signal to giant overseas corporations that they are not welcome to extract climate-harming pollutants here in Aotearoa.”