The heading said it all: “New Zealand offers useless sacrifice to the warming gods”
That was the headline for a column this week in Melbourne’s Herald Sun by columnist Andrew Bolt, who also has a daily programme on Skynews.
Bolt, known to be a critic of global warming issues and spending excesses by governments, Federal and State in Australia, joined the commentary about New Zealand placing a ban on issuing future offshore oil and gas exploration, claiming through the Prime Minister that this was a move to combat climate change.
The move, he said, provoked bitter responses from the petroleum industry, which said that NZ would have to rely more expensive imports.
“When it comes to climate change, our plan is clear,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a member of the centre-left Labour Party. “We are committed to the goal of becoming a net zero emissions economy by 2050.”
She hoped NZ’s electricity system would rely completely on renewable energy sources by 2035.
Bolt said this was a lose-lose scenario for New Zealand’s economy and environment, likely to threaten jobs and mean higher prices for consumers – echoing a comment by PEPANZ chief Cameron Madgwick.
Bolt said Government figures showed NZ’s crude oil production declined in 2016 to the lowest level in a decade, and spending on production had fallen in line with a global drop in prices stemming from the shale revolution in the United States.
New Zealand imports more oil than it exports, and it is a small player on the world stage, with industry figures putting the value of exports at $A1.1 billion a year.
Andrew Bolt said a page on the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website — a Government agency that promotes international trade and economic development — said the Government’s aim is “to increase the value of NZ petroleum exports tenfold” by 2025.