Austrian oil giant OMV last week (10 April 2019) announced plans to drill for oil and gas in the Great South Basin (GSB) as early as this year. OMV took over Shell’s GSB drilling permit and last year were given extra time by this government to decide whether or not to proceed with deep water exploratory drilling in the southern ocean.
Last week, on the one year anniversary of the Ardern government’s ban on new offshore oil and gas permits, they signalled they will go ahead.
“OMV’s decision blatantly disregards Jacinda Ardern’s call for climate change to be her generation’s nuclear free moment. It is a slap in the face to the millions of young people around the world striking for urgent action on climate change, including more than a thousand school students here in Dunedin.” Oil Free Otago’s Rosemary Penwarden said.
“OMV may not yet understand how much we care about our ocean, our sea creatures and birds, and our southern way of life. They may not know the proud history of peaceful civil disobedience in Aotearoa NZ. They may not know that our city’s leaders have opposed deep sea drilling, divested our ratepayers’ money from fossil fuel investments and are already on the way to a fossil free future.
“One year ago, we wrote to OMV and told them not to come. They need reminding.”
Last year’s IPCC report makes it clear. The world’s economies must massively and swiftly reduce our use of coal, oil and gas to prevent the worst effects of climate change. Most of the fossil fuels already found cannot be burned if we are to have a hope of preserving a liveable climate.
“And yet OMV plan to explore for more unburnable oil and gas for short term profit at the expense of all of our futures. That is inexcusable.” Ms Penwarden said.
“OMV is one of 100 oil giants responsible for 71% of global emissions. Instead of looking for more unburnable oil and gas OMV and the others should be putting their billions into renewable energy and infrastructure projects needed in the face of climate disruption, rising oceans and more ferocious storms, floods and droughts. They should put their money where the future is.
“OMV should surrender their drilling permits and leave Aotearoa. If they continue they should expect resistance every step of the way.”
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