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NZ government swimming against the tide of history: Oil Change International

Friday 15 Dec 23 10:30am

Oil Change International campaign manager David Tong says the COP28 call to move away from fossil fuels shows the New Zealand government is trying to swim against the tide of history.

Wellington-based Tong, speaking to Scoop managing editor Alastair Thompson in Dubai, said the agreement was the clearest sign yet that the age of oil, gas, and coal was over.


"We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. It's the only way to limit warming to below 1.5 degrees.”


Tong said any company investing in drilling for fossil fuels now would do so in the knowledge that they were investing in what would inevitably become a stranded asset.


“We chased off Statoil, we chased off Anadarko, and if we have to we’ll do it again,” Tong said.


He said the deal that saw nearly 200 countries agree to move away from using fossil fuels was historic but still had a lot of problems.


“This isn't a fair phase out. It's not going to be funded. It's not differentiated and it’s not full: there are a lot of loopholes and dangerous distractions, but it's a really clear signal.”


He said oil producers were clearly uncomfortable and it was up to civil society to make them even less comfortable.


Any country that updated its Nationally Determined Contribution without showing how it planned to phase out fossil fuels would be seen as engaging in hollow rhetoric, Tong said.


He said if the Paris Agreement was the beginning of the end of fossil fuels, this was Act two.

Story copyright © Carbon News 2023
Related Topics: Energy | Kyoto | United Nations


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