Oil Council foresees the end of fracking, proposes the worst possible alternative
Shale gas was supposed to be a bridge fuel. Yet next, a DOE advisory group wants us to start drilling in the Arctic
28 March, 2015
Breaking news, via the National Petroleum Council: the United States’ vast reserves of oil and natural gas are going to run out.
"Simon Bridges has just released the oil & gas block offer and its huge. It's huge at 429,000 km2 which is considerably larger than the land area of NZ and to put it in perspective it's larger than Greenland!
Scientists warn us we can't afford to burn 70% of the oil already discovered if we want to leave our kids a safe climate yet National is throwing tens of millions of taxpayer's dollars at Big Oil hoping they find some more deep off our coasts.
All this Govt's time, energy and money could have gone into supporting clean energy which grows 4x more jobs and protects our climate."
---Gareth Hughes, NZ Green Party
NZ: Oil drilling threatens Maui’s dolphins, mammal sanctuary, forest park
30 March, 2015
Media release from Green Party
The Government’s block offer announcement of an area almost twice the size of New Zealand and including the home of the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin and other protected conservation areas is further evidence of how out of touch they’ve become, the Green Party said today.
“The Government has ignored the huge public concern about the risks of deep sea oil and the risks to our marine life including our 55 remaining Maui’s dolphins,” Green Party mining spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today.
“The Government is putting oil profits ahead of protecting our precious places. Areas of the West Coast North Island Marine Mammal Sanctuary as well as the Victoria Forest Park are still included in the permits.
“It’s clear the Government doesn’t care about protecting our precious last remaining Maui’s dolphins when they are offering up their home for oil and gas exploration while it is known that seismic surveying can seriously harm marine mammals.
“The strategy of luring oil companies to New Zealand is failing and this block offer shows how increasingly desperate the Government is becoming with the latest block larger than the size of Greenland.
“The amount of our land and oceans being offered up to foreign oil companies has increased 125 per cent since 2012. It raises the question if they will stop at nothing to help foreign oil companies make a buck.
“If the Government has its way there will soon be virtually no areas of New Zealand not offered up for cheap to big overseas oil companies.
“While big international oil companies slash their exploration budgets due to the low oil price, the National Government arrogantly continues its failing strategy of backing this sunset industry with taxpayer subsidies.
“Internationally, we must keep 80 per cent of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground in order to have a chance of staying below 2 degrees warming.
“Our beaches and climate can’t afford National’s misguided economic strategy of hoping Big Oil finds something down deep in our waters and crossing their fingers they don’t leave too much of a mess as they export any profits.
“The Government must listen to the concern about its reckless oil and gas plans and instead invest in renewables and a transition to a green and sustainable economy,” said Mr Hughes.
Thousands of anti-deep sea oil drilling protesters made their message heard at a protest in central Auckland on Sunday
UN green climate fund can be spent on coal-fired power generation
Rules agreed a meeting of fund’s board described by Friends of the Earth as ‘like a torture convention that does not forbid torture
28 March, 2015
The UN fund to help developing countries fight climate change can be spent on coal-fired power plants – the most polluting form of electricity generation – under rules agreed at a board meeting.
The green climate fund (GCF) refused an explicit ban on fossil fuel projects at the contentious meeting in Songdo, South Korea, last week.
“It’s like a torture convention that doesn’t forbid torture,” said Karen Orenstein, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth US who was at the meeting. “Honestly it should be a no-brainer at this point.”
The fund was set up as part of the ongoing UN climate negotiations to help developing countries finance clean energy and measures to help adapt to climate change.
Its website states: “The fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
It has struggled for support, however, with industrialised countries paying only about 1% of the $10.2bn (£6.9bn) committed at the UN climate negotiations in Lima last December. The deadline for contributions is 30 April.
With no clear rules on climate finance, much of the funds can be channelled to dirty energy, campaigners say.
Japan designated $1bn in loans for coal plants in Indonesia as climate finance, according to reporting by the Associated Press. Last week Japan counted another $630m in loans for coal plants in India and Bangladesh as climate finance.
Japan claims the projects are less polluting than older coal-fired plants and so qualify as clean energy. “Japan is of the view that the promotion of high-efficiency coal-fired power plants is one of the realistic, pragmatic and effective approaches to cope with the issue of climate change,” Takako Ito, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, told AP.
Campaigners say the lack of clear rules makes a mockery of the fund. “Many people think it’s crazy that they are not going to have a no-go zone,” Orenstein said. “The fact that the GCF won’t say it is problematic both for the integrity of the fund, and also reputational risk.”
Japan, China and Saudi Arabia opposed such a ban, she said.
The board agreed to set a minimum benchmark for the greenhouse gas emissions cuts that projects must achieve, but not until 2016. Meanwhile, they will apply an “assessment scale” to the first projects, which are set to be approved in October.
Australian Conservation Foundation says US-style regulation should be introduced to force the worst polluting plants to close
Queensland coal delivers final knell to Great Barrier Reef
28 March, 2015
28 March, 2015