The Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior has arrived into Lyttelton this morning as part of a tour to celebrate New Zealand’s recent ban on new offshore oil exploration, and promote clean energy opportunities.
In April this year, New Zealand made international headlines when it became one of the first countries in the world to ban new offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in response to climate change obligations.
Internationally, Greenpeace saw the ban as so significant that it sent the Rainbow Warrior across thousands of kilometres of ocean to help celebrate with New Zealanders.
Called the Making Oil History tour, the ship has so far visited Matauri Bay, Auckland, Whangaparaoa Bay, Wellington and Kaikōura, and will now visit Dunedin, and Stewart Island.
The Rainbow Warrior will be open to the public at Lyttelton port on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 9am-4pm.
Greenpeace climate campaigner, Kate Simcock, says the ship tour is about celebrating the courage of the hundreds of thousands of people over the past decade who have taken a stand against oil exploration in New Zealand, leading to the Government’s ban on new exploration permits.
“This City has been leading the fight against deep sea oil in New Zealand and has played a huge part in the win we had earlier this year,” she says.
“The people of Christchurch successfully convinced the Christchurch City Council and ECAN to formally oppose the National Government’s block offer programme to open up more of our EEZ for deep sea oil drilling. That was an enormous contribution to the campaign, and the Rainbow Warrior is here to acknowledge that.
“This ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits sent a clear signal that we must urgently transition to a society run on clean energy.”
Greenpeace has launched a plan that would see half a million New Zealand homes kitted out with solar and batteries over the next 10 years. Simcock says this will provide a much-needed injection of clean electricity into the New Zealand energy system.
“Not only would this help reduce our climate emissions, but it would put power back in the hands of New Zealanders, lower energy bills, and increase the resilience of the national grid,” she says.
Greenpeace’s 10-year solar plan would work through a Government interest free loan on panels and a battery, delivering solar power with no upfront costs for the homeowner.
The plan would also provide additional support to 100,000 lower incomes homes through a government grant that would cover at least half of the system cost.
Greenpeace is calling on the Government to adopt the plan.
Sophie Schroder | Communications and Media, Greenpeace NZ, on the Rainbow Warrior
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