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On the first anniversary of New Zealand’s internationally acclaimed ban on new oil and gas permits, Greenpeace has called for sweeping new climate policy.

The environmental organisation has launched a set of policy asks calling on the Government to ban all new oil and gas development, permit extensions and infrastructure; phase out the import and sale of cars that run on oil; and provide a just transition to renewable energy and transport.

On April 12, 2018, the Ardern-led Government made global headlines by issuing a ban on new oil and gas exploration permits. In the year since, Ardern has been hailed as one of the world’s great climate leaders.

But Greenpeace climate campaigner, Amanda Larsson, says the Government must be doing much more on home turf to live up to its international reputation.

“A Government responding to the latest scientific evidence on climate change would be going much further than banning offshore oil and gas,” she says.

“A reasonable response to climate change would include prohibiting the development of any new fossil fuel infrastructure like gas peakers and coal boilers. It would mean phasing out the import of petrol and diesel vehicles, and instead supporting the roll out of electric trains, buses, bikes and cars.

“Budget 2019 should be brimming with new commitments to clean energy too, such as solarising schools and providing a zero interest loan for solarising the family home. We should expect to see strong commitments to re-skilling Taranaki’s oil and gas workers for offshore wind and other complementary industries.”

Larsson says the Government has recently made some very concerning decisions on climate change, like choosing to extend oil and gas permits off the Otago and Canterbury coasts.

“If we keep seeing regressive decisions like this instead of strong policy commitments to clean energy, the Government will start to forfeit their right to the claim of climate leadership,” she says.

ENDS