UK provides more financial support for fossil fuel industry than any other EU country
- New Zealand Government follows up on ending licensing permits for offshore oil & gas last year by withdrawing the majority of government subsidies and support for the sector
- New Zealand part of Wellbeing Economy Governments group with Scotland, referred to by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in a speech last month
- The Scottish Government has been a consistent advocate of UK Government subsidy and tax breaks for north sea oil, a position that has come under increased scrutiny since announcing a climate emergency in April
- Scottish Greens, Extinction Rebellion Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland call on the Scottish Government to “follow New Zealand’s lead”
SCOTTISH Climate activists have responded to news that New Zealand has withdrawn its support for subsidies and tax breaks to the oil and gas industry by calling on the Scottish Government to follow suit.
The New Zealand news website Stuff reported last week that the government “has withdrawn the majority of its support for the oil industry, reviewing the last remaining taxpayer help for fossil fuel industries.”
“It has put an end to research and development, sponsorship, promotional events and funding exploration data,” the report added.
In April 2018, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that no further offshore oil and gas permits would be granted, becoming one of the world’s first countries to do so.
Angus Rodger, research director at Wood Mackenzie, told FT at the time that “the timing is particularly intriguing as industry interest in New Zealand oil and gas is actually higher now than it has been for a number of years”.
New Zealand produces around 15 million barrels of oil a year, with the industry contributing around NZ$2.5bn to the New Zealand economy.
Since entering coalition government with the Greens in 2017, Ardern has pushed a wellbeing economy agenda, announcing what it described as the first government budget in the world to be based on wellbeing principles earlier this year.
Scottish Greens energy spokesperson Mark Ruskell responded to the news by saying that it showed “what can happen when other parties work with Greens”.
“The UK continues to bankroll oil exploration in the North Sea and fail to invest in alternatives. Meanwhile the Scottish Government continues to support maximum extraction,” he said.
In 2018, the Scottish Government joined a Wellbeing Economy Governments group with New Zealand and Iceland. In July, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon noted this in a TED Talk which made the case for collective wellbeing being a more important indicator of a country’s success than GDP.
“GDP measures the output of all of our work, but it says nothing about the nature of that work. It values activity in the short-term that boosts the economy, even if that activity is hugely damaging to the sustainability of our planet in the longer term,” she said.
Ruskell said that the TED Talk needed to be backed up with action on a “just transition”.
“Given Nicola Sturgeon’s TED talk focused on joining with New Zealand to put wellbeing before GDP, it’s time the Scottish Government took our calls for a just transition away from fossil fuels seriously,” he said, adding: “Putting wellbeing first means securing low-carbon jobs and leaving fossil fuels in the ground to protect our future.”
Climate activists call on @ScotGov to follow New Zealand in ending support for oil & gas industry subsidies | CommonSpace
UK provides more financial support for fossil fuel industry than any other EU country New Zealand Government follows up on ending licensing permits for offshore oil & gas last year by withdrawing the majority of government subsidies and support for the sector New Zealand part of Wellbeing Economy Governments group with Scotland, referred to by… [Read More]