The New Zealand government is expanding oil and gas exploration into a number of new sites. These sites were previously either too difficult or costly to pursue and impact on existing ecological reserves.
By Rakesh Lal, CWI NZ/Aotearoa
While accepting the need to transition to a low-carbon energy future, the government claims to be investing in both renewable and non-renewable sources. While this may sound innocuous, the process will prevent democratic control of these areas for a long time to come.
By seeking ‘long-term investment’ from private oil companies, who will tender for the extraction rights, it is clear that short-term gain is the driving force behind this strategy.
If we are to take into account the wellbeing of New Zealand’s economy in the long-term this must include the wellbeing of our environment and people. The devastation caused by continued reliance on fossilised carbon is only in the interest of a minority – especially the big oil companies.
Lessening our reliance on carbon means investing in public works that expand renewable energy sources. We need cleaner technologies, but primarily we need truly democratic control over our resources. This can only be achieved by democratic socialism.