Virtue signalling deals $28b blow to economy

An NZIER report shows that the government’s virtue signalling oil and gas ban will deal a $28b blow to the economy.

Last year’s oil and gas exploration decision could cost the New Zealand economy $28 billion by 2050, according to a new study by the New Zealand Economic Institute for Economic Research (NZIER).

“This is the first proper analysis of the wider impacts this decision will have and it is very sobering. It shows enormous damage to New Zealanders’ standard of living for no apparent environmental gain,” says Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ) CEO Cameron Madgwick.

“Exports are likely to fall by between and $3 billion and $10 billion, and the impacts will be particularly severe in Taranaki where the local economy could shrink by up to $40 billion.

“According to the report, ‘These are large GDP impacts… the decision drives a series of strongly negative economic impacts.’

“This will have real and long-term impacts on New Zealanders, hurting incomes and making us worse off as a nation.

“At the same time, according to the Government’s own advisers, global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to rise as we burn more coal and import more fuel from overseas.

“This is new information which was not available to the Government when the legislation was rushed through Parliament last year. It reinforces the need for an independent review and rethink of this policy.”

The research was commissioned by PEPANZ and is available here.

A government determined to counter climate change would struggle to justify a $28 billion cost even if it was going to have a significant and positive environmental impact.

But the oil and gas exploration ban is just virtue signalling and it’s impossible to justify the huge economic cost while increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

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