New Zealand's government has banned all new offshore oil and gas exploration after seven years of growing public protests. This announcement makes more than 4 million square kilometers, the fourth-largest exclusive economic zone in the world, off-limits for any new fossil fuel exploration. The government will continue to offer onshore exploration in the Taranaki region and will not revoke any existing contracts.
New Zealand is one of the first countries to make significant strives towards a permanent ban on oil exploration. Although this is a historic step towards the end of the oil era, more investment needs to be made into the research and development of alternatives for fossil fuels, particularly for shipping and aviation.
What impact will this ban have on New Zealand's economy? Will it prove a spur to innovation?