Prof Jane Kelsey and Lori Wallach from USA Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch will be in Dunedin to discuss the next phase of the global fight to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Get the latest facts from the experts.
Oil Free Otago Media Release 30 October 2015
Fossil Fuels are Dead – Long Live Renewables
Oil Free Otago friends and supporters are meeting this afternoon, Friday 30 October, to mourn the demise of the fossil fuel industry. “The time has come to face facts” Oil Free Otago’s Rosemary Penwarden said. “With vital signs so low, recovery really is out of the question. Fossil fuels are on the way out.”
A wake for Oil and Gas is being held outside the Scenic Hotel Southern Cross, 118 High Street, Dunedin, to coincide with the New Zealand Oil and Gas Investor briefing inside.
“We want to support New Zealand Oil and Gas investors.” Ms Penwarden said. “They must be feeling pretty bad right now with their share price so low. But it’s time for investors to face reality. The first stage of grief is always denial, so we are here to support them as they move to the next stage.
“Even Energy Minister Simon Bridges is calling for fossil fuel subsidies to be stopped.”
“A realistic carbon price is just around the corner, and fossil fuel companies are fast losing their social licence to operate.”
Fossil fuels lost the race with renewables in 2013 when 143 gigawatts of renewable electricity capacity surpassed 141 gigawatts in fossil fuel-powered plants. By 2030 Bloomberg analysts predict there will be more than four times more renewable than fossil fuelled capacity, and by 2050 scientists warn that the world must have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
“NZ Oil and Gas investors should cut their losses and reinvest in a clean future.”
Experpts from Siana Fitzjohn’s blog, Fossil Fools:
Yesterday I travelled back in time. When we entered the Dunedin City Council chambers to make a deputation on the 2016 oil and gas block offer I felt the clock tick back 150 years. […]
The council members (11 men, 3 women), Mayor, members of the public and reporters filed in and took their seats. We were all asked to stand, I assumed it was for a formal opening or karakia, but what followed was a full on Christian prayer, with all the ‘amens’ to go with it. […]
Rosemary and I […] implored the council to oppose the government’s oil and gas block offers. These are the huge chunks of ocean that are made available for companies to explore oil and gas. We had a mere ten minutes to unpack the issue.
Now, ten minutes is not a lot of time when you need to cover
- the deconstruction of democracy
- the huge risks posed by deep sea drilling to marine life
- our laughably inadequate ‘oil spill response plan’
- the emotional and psychological impacts of an oil spill
- the importance of our oceans for our cultural identity
- AND the climate justice implications of oil and gas exploration
Needless to say we were a little out of breath by the time we were done. Throughout the talk I could not help feeling like we were medieval peasants bringing our grievances to the lords of the land. Councillor Hilary Calvert slouched […] and made little attempt to conceal her disdain. When the questions began […], I realised that the attitudes of certain councillors […] out-dated.
Councillor Andrew Whiley, […] spokesperson for ProGas Otago, […] reminded us that this meeting was about the oil and gas block offers, not about climate change. Congratulations Sir, on your belligerent refusal to connect the dots. […] Climate change science states that if we burn more than 20 or so percent of known fuel reserves, we’re toast. If councils compartmentalise issues they evade the moral implications of their decisions.
The next question was from Hilary Calvert, who asked me if I had made a written submission, and if so what did we think we were gaining by “having another bite at the cherry…”
[…] we were making the deputation on behalf of Oil Free Otago and the 400+ people that had signed our petition. I did not know how to reply, so I merely shot back, “I’m not sure I understand the relevance of your question.”
I should have said, “We are pursuing every democratic avenue available to us to ensure that this issue receives due attention. We’d gladly spend all day explaining to the council the infringement of climate justice proposed by this block offer. Frankly if you think that a written submission and a ten minute deputation is going overboard then I don’t think you comprehend the seriousness of this issue.” […] she had no alternative ammunition. […]
Another councillor […] asked why we wouldn’t compare Dunedin to other cities like New Plymouth and Aberdeen, who had profited from oil exploitation? Because, […] we’re about 50 years too late. The link between our fossil fuel use and the hazardous effects of climate change is now indisputably established. We no longer have the excuse of ignorance. We can’t afford to burn the majority of the fossil fuels that we know about. Any decision to explore for more fossil fuels now directly endangers the wellbeing of future generations and ecosystems.
It is clear that some of these councillors are still living in a fantasy land […] their opinions are relics of the ancient past. These select few would see Dunedin turned into the last outpost of a dying oil industry, with abandoned drilling platforms rusting away offshore as an ode to their idiocy.
[…] Every attempt was made by a few councillors to derail, distract and discredit the conversation. There is only so much time you can spend stating the bleeding obvious to people before you sound like a broken record. Take heart though, progress is being made, if at the pace of a sleeping snail. The council will rework their submission, despite not taking an opposing stance like we’d hoped. Councils around the rest of the country are looking more positive. Christchurch lead the charge to oppose the block offers, with Kaikoura following suit. This shows that local governments can demonstrate good leadership and respond to the needs of their communities. Congratulations to both of those regions!
ODT article on the Dunedin City Council’s public forum here.
Oil Free Otago are pleased to hear that Shell has decided to postpone drilling in the Great South Basin (GSB) this summer, one day after announcing it is pulling out of all drilling in the Arctic.
“Shell should relinquish their Great South Basin permit and pull out completely” said Oil Free Otago’s Rosemary Penwarden, “just like they are pulling out of all drilling in the Arctic.”
“Both the Arctic and the deep sea GSB are marginal frontier regions. Scientists tell us this marginal oil or gas is unburnable if we are to retain a liveable world of under two degrees of global warming.”
“That is why, no matter the price of oil, deep sea drilling in the southern ocean, like drilling in the Arctic, has no future. We want a liveable world and we will oppose Shell, Anadarko and the others every step of the way.”
Shell say their decision to retreat from the Arctic was due to a lack of oil, and that postponement of drilling in the GSB is because of the need for further geological interpretation of the basin.
“Shell say they need more time to evaluate the complex geology of the Great South Basin” said Ms Penwarden. “More likely, they need more time to figure out how on earth to satisfy their shareholders now that there is no future for deep sea drilling, let alone the planet, if marginal oil exploration continues.”
Dear Shell NZ,
Yesterday Shell pulled out of drilling in the Arctic. This is such good news for millions of people worldwide. We have one planet and the race is on to save it. The people are winning.
We are writing to demand that you now cease any further plans to drill in the Great South Basin, off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Your industry is a rogue industry without the social licence to continue. Already discovered oil and gas must remain unburned for global warming to keep below an un-survivable tipping point. New frontier exploration must cease.
Like the Arctic, the deep ocean of the Great South Basin is frontier territory. Any hydrocarbon discoveries in this region are unburnable if we are to retain a liveable planet. You have no right to continue; your extreme destructive behaviour is putting us all at risk.
Remember the kayaktavists of Seattle? Be prepared for similar opposition in New Zealand. All further efforts to drill here will be strongly opposed.
Shell: pull out of the Great South Basin now, or expect resistance. The people are building a better, fairer world and we are winning. Get out of the way.
OIL FREE OTAGO
Oil Free Otago Press Release 3 August 2015
The ‘game-changer’ we need is renewable
Oil Free Otago agrees with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) CEO Andrew Knight, that his proposal to drill in 2017 off Oamaru would be a ‘game-changer’ (ODT 31 July 2015).
“NZOG’s latest proposal is a game-changer – but in exactly the wrong direction” said Oil Free Otago spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden “It means more of the same when what we urgently need is a switch away from fossil fuels.”
NZOG is calling for joint venture partners to test drill in the Barque prospect off the Oamaru coast in 2017. CEO Andrew Knight is talking up the prospect by saying it could be of the scale of Maui, the country’s largest field off Taranaki.
“Andrew Knight is enthusiastically calling for partners to help him further destroy the climate. Not only is he studiously ignoring the truth about climate change, but he is also betting on the governments of the world doing nothing to keep us below 2 degrees. He is quite cynically betting on our future.” Ms Penwarden said.
“NZOG’s game-changing scenario goes something like this: talk up short term profit, pass two degrees, contribute further to ocean acidification, food and water shortages and unliveable climate – Game Over. Where will his shareholders put their money then?
Andrew Knight should know Oil Free Otago will oppose NZOG plans for further deep sea drilling every step of the way. He should expect resistance. The game-changer we really need is renewable.”
Oil Free Otago hosts a poetry evening at Dog with Two Tail on Sunday 9 August at 7pm. All are welcome to write and/or read poetry to the theme “Calm before the Storm”. Submit intent to read to OilFreeOtago@gmail.com
There is a $5 entry. This event is a flotilla fundraiser as there will be deep sea drilling in the moana of Aotearoa this summer 2016.
Max capacity of the venue is 50 persons.
Share and distribute poster and flyers below: