The NZES 2011-2021, while acknowledging the importance of renewable energies, instead focuses on the development of petroleum exploration and the development of petroleum exports. While the report claims that ‘The government’s approach is to ensure market incentives and the regulatory framework support further investment in appropriate renewable projects,’ there is little to suggest substantive change in which renewable energies will further develop. The report states that ‘the Government wants New Zealand to be a highly attractive global destination for petroleum exploration and production investment so we can develop the full potential of our petroleum resources,’ in which non renewable such as oil and gas exports are seen as the way to develop foreign earnings.
Although renewable energy production has been on the rise in the last few years in New Zealand, it is not growing as fast as New Zealand’s gross energy demand, meaning a spike in the rise of greenhouse gas emissions. New Zealand’s reluctance to move away from energy models that rely on models that factor in fossil fuel exploration risk New Zealand being seen as a country that does not uphold its obligation to combat climate change, and severely risk tarnishing New Zealand’s already tarnished image as a 100% Pure, Clean Green destination. The policy director of Oxfam has recently stated that ‘countries that defer action face higher long term cost, as global investment is redirected to early movers.’ Therefore the economic imperatives to enact rapid and early change from models that rely on fossil fuel development to those that rely on renewables appear vital.
New Zealand’s green house gas emission has continued to grow, and outstripped that of almost any other country since 1999, and is almost triple that of Australia.