New Zealand prohibits new offshore oil drilling

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New Zealand has said that the ban on new permits for oil exploration on the high seas as attempts to move towards a low-carbon future.

The announcement has been praised by the climate, groups but the industry groups have vociferously opposed such a measure.

The prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that it could help “protect future generations from climate change”.

The measure will not affect 22 existing permits, which could even extend to the mining permits in the coming decades.

Ms Ardern, who was chosen as New Zealand, the leader of last year in a tight race, campaigned heavily on climate change and the prevention and says that the decision is a responsible step forward.

“The transitions have to start somewhere and unless you make decisions today which in essence will take effect in 30 years or more of time, you run the risk of acting too late and causing abrupt shocks to communities and our country,” Ms Ardern said on Thursday.

“We’ve been a world leader in issues critical to mankind, to be free of nuclear weapons… and now we could be leaders in the world to be carbon neutral”.
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But industry groups and some politicians have criticized the move, saying it will hurt local jobs, local businesses, and the economy of the nation.

New Zealand $186.4 million (£130.9 bn) economy is based mainly on agriculture, along with manufacturing and tourism, but it is estimated that the oil and gas industry contributes about $1.84 billion euros (£1.29 bn) each year.

New Zealand, Oil and Gas, a leading energy company, said that he had not been warned of the move and that was a sudden change of the policy of the centre-left Labour government.

Ms Ardern of the government backed by the country’s Green Party, a tie some analysts say that is less favorable to the business.