An open letter to end oil exploration

Scientists, iwi leaders, healh professionals, unions, environmental groups and artists have launched a powerful open letter calling on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to end oil & gas exploration

Dear Prime Minister: End Oil Exploration in New Zealand

Your commitment to make climate change the nuclear-free moment of your generation has the power to inspire a nation, and indeed the world. We are calling on you to turn this passion into action, by taking bold and decisive measures to protect our future and our children’s future.

Together, we pledge support for the New Zealand Government to end oil and gas exploration now, as a vital step in addressing climate change.

We must apply our ambition, ingenuity, and courage to hasten the transition to a stable and resilient society, powered by clean energy.

The climate science is clear. If we are to avoid catastrophic impacts, the world cannot afford to burn even existing reserves of fossil fuels, let alone seek out and burn new reserves.

Climate change is an existential threat, posing grave danger to our health, homes, communities, food security, culture and livelihoods, as well as the wildlife and wild places with which we share this Earth.

Climate change is an injustice that disproportionately affects our 
neighbours and kin in the Pacific, developing nations, indigenous people, people of colour, women and poorer working people. These are also the people who are least responsible for causing this crisis.

But the steps we take to address this threat also provide us with opportunities to move towards a more just and equal society, to boost innovation and employment, create more resilient communities, improve our health, and live in better balance with nature.

Now is the time to back the booming clean energy industries, and invite the transformational economic opportunities that shifting to a low-carbon society can bring. This must be a just transition - one that fairly distributes the costs and benefits across the economy and provides opportunities for those affected to actively engage in determining the future wellbeing of themselves and their families.

More than ever, the world needs bold leadership. We wholeheartedly support your ambition for New Zealand to be at the forefront of this planetary challenge. Not only can we live without fossil fuels, but we must. If our small nation can again inspire the world, as we did in our stand against nuclear weapons, then we would earn our place on the right side of history. Ending the development of new oil, gas and coal now, is vital to that success.    

Yours Sincerely,

Sir Alan Mark, FRSNZ, KNZM, Chair, Wise Response Society NZ
Jeanette Fitzsimons, CNZM, Former Co-Leader, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
Dr J. Morgan Williams, Former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Rt Hon Sir Edmund Thomas LLB(NZ) LLD(VUW) KNZM QC
Dave Cull, Mayor of Dunedin

Prof Margaret Mutu FRSNZ, Chairperson, Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu
Toro Waaka, Ngāti Pāhauwera Development Trust
Rikirangi Gage - Te Whānau a Apanui
Toa Faneva - Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa

Kerri Nuku, Kaiwhakahaere & Grant Brookes, President, New Zealand Nurses Organisation (Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa)
Glenn Barclay, National Secretary, Public Service Association (Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi)
Gary Cranston, climate justice spokesperson and fast food lead organiser Auckland, Northland, Unite Union
Sandra Grey, President, Tertiary Education Union (Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa)
Paul Goulter, National Secretary, NZEI Te Riu Roa

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, Assoc. Prof, Poet Laureate
Lucy Lawless, ONZM, Actor
Tiki Taane, Musical Activist
Robyn Malcolm, NZ Actress
Peter Lange, MNZM, Potter

Prof Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington
Prof James Renwick, Victoria University of Wellington climate scientist
Prof Ralph Sims, Massey University and the Global Environment Facility
Dr Jim Salinger, Climate change scientist
Dr Terrence Loomis, Coordinator, Fossil Fuels Aotearoa Research Network (FFARN)
Dr Bob Lloyd, Associate Professor (ret), Climate Consultant Pacific Region
Prof Jonathan Boston, Professor of Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Kate Baddock, Chair, New Zealand Medical Association
Dr Felicity Dumble, President, New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine
Warren Lindberg, MNZM, Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Association of New Zealand
Dr Rhys Jones & Dr Alex Macmillan, Co-convenors, OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council
Dr Rye Senjen, Scientific Advisor Environmental and Human Health Aotearoa

Rt Rev Justin Duckworth, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Wellington Rev Dr Peter Matheson, Emeritus Professor, Knox Church, Dunedin

Phillip Mills, Managing Director of Les Mills International
Michael Mayell, Founder, Cookie Time
Chris Morrison, Co-Founder, Karma Cola and All Good
Brendan Winitana, Chair, Sustainable Electricity Association of New Zealand
Malcolm Rands, Founder, Ecostore

Livia Esterhazy, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-New Zealand
Kevin Hague, Chief Executive, Forest and Bird
Niamh O’Flynn, Executive Director, 350 Aotearoa
Rachael Le Mesurier, Executive Director, Oxfam New Zealand
Dr Russel Norman, Executive Director, Greenpeace New Zealand
Rosemary Penwarden, Coordinator, Oil Free Otago
Cindy Baxter, Coordinator, Coal Action Network
Emily Bailey, Climate Justice Taranaki
Robyn Harris-Iles, Coordinator, Frack Free Aotearoa New Zealand
Denys Trussell, Friends of the Earth
Guy Salmon, Ecologic
Gary Taylor, Environmental Defence Society