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'The urgency is called climate change' –Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges spar over oil and gas exploration

The Prime Minister has accused Opposition leader Simon Bridges of "shallow analysis" today during Parliament's Question Time, after he questioned her over the recent decision to halt oil and gas exploration permits

The National Party leader asked if the decision was "rushed through", due to Ms Ardern's Europe trip "and her desire to make an impression on the student leaders and the world's leaders?"

"Absolutely not," Ms Ardern said. "The urgency is called climate change, it's already here, and you should visit Kiribati to see the urgency of it."

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods explained the decision on TVNZ1’s Breakfast today. Source: Breakfast

She also said the Minister for Energy was required to make a decision around the 2018 block offer, following requirements of the Crown Minerals Act.  

Mr Bridges asked if she accepted the "decision will do absolutely nothing to lower domestic, or international consumption of hydrocarbons, and in fact, may see emissions rise?"

Jacinda Ardern instead said she accepted reports showing benefits from early transitions. "This decision will not affect the industry today, or tomorrow, but it will in 30 years time.

"We are honouring every one of those 50 plus permits that are already out there, but we will not pretend that we do not have urgency over this issue."

During Question Time today Mr Bridges asked Ms Ardern: "Has she seen any, any, official estimates on what emission reductions there'll be from her decision?"

Ms Ardern hit back saying: "The plan here is to ensure we're transitioning away from fossil fuels, it seems to be an issue that [Simon Bridges] has not quite got his head around, that even if we used every single fossil fuel currently available we would still not meet our climate targets."

"But again, I would expect that shallow analysis from someone who has no plan."

Earlier in the exchange, Mr Bridges asked Ms Ardern if she accepted "there was no cost-benefit analysis to the same oil and gas decision?"

The MPs battle out the biggest topics of the week. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Ardern said it was a "very difficult area to make predictions over, but what we do know is the cost to New Zealand and the environment of not making a transition over a 30-year period".