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On the same day as over 11,000 scientists from around the world have declared a climate emergency, the Government has quietly released a strategy that assumes decades more oil and gas exploration in New Zealand.

This morning, international journal Bioscience published a cornerstone study by 11,258 scientists across 153 countries who warn that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency”.

The report listed six broad policy goals that must be urgently met to curb this crisis, including for any remaining fossil fuels to remain in the ground, never to be burned for energy.

Hours later, and New Zealand’s Ministry for Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) released its 10-year Minerals and Petroleum Resource strategy, with an outline of how oil and gas production could continue here for up to 50+ years.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner, Amanda Larsson, calls the strategy “an insult”.

“This shoddy MBIE strategy assumes decades more oil and gas expansion in New Zealand. To be released right after more than 11,000 scientists have come together to sound a global climate alert is quite frankly, insulting,” she says.

“If the New Zealand Government wants to live up to its reputation as a global leader on climate action, an appropriate response to the climate emergency would include a commitment to immediately end new fossil fuel exploration on land and at sea, alongside a timeline for rapidly winding down the coal, oil, and gas industries.”

ENDS