The Prime Minister’s blinkered view on natural gas exports could cause New Zealand to miss a significant opportunity in contributing to a reduction in global emissions, National Party Energy and Resources Spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“Switching from coal to natural gas reduces emissions by 50 per cent. If Jacinda Ardern would support the export of New Zealand gas to coal dependent countries, we’d be doing far more to reduce global CO2 emissions than we would by making this industry the sacrificial lamb of her climate policy,” Mr Young says.

“We must reduce global CO2 emissions, but the Prime Minister ought to think outside the classical Greenpeace bias.

"Global energy-related CO2 emissions stopped increasing for a third straight year in 2016 for two reasons -  an increase in renewable electricity generation and also the switch from coal to gas.

“Climate Change Minister James Shaw has refused to support the export of New Zealand natural gas to coal dependent countries. Not only would such a move help reduce global emissions but the economic return for New Zealand would help our own transition.

"We need a Prime Minister who is pragmatic and won’t disregard genuine and significant opportunities to make a difference in the battle against rising emissions. Ending an industry won’t change our liquid fuel emissions profile.

“There is no need to throw an industry and over 8,000 New Zealanders under the bus. There is a win-win here. Let’s not miss it.”

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