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Offshore fossil fuel moratoriums in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Canada: unsettling security, transition, and the geopolitics of climate change

Authors: Dawn Hoogeveen*, University of Northern British Columbia, Sophie Bond, University of Otago
Topics: Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: moratoriums, climate change, feminist geopolitics, settler colonialism, environmental justice
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Moratoriums are a crucial tool for regulating the environmental impacts of oil and gas extraction. They are also used to force transition away from fossil fuels in the context of climate change. Moratoriums are highly contested. For example, they might temporarily make secure environmental interests, or partially secure oil and gas industry interests in exempt areas, or make Indigenous interests insecure or invisible. This paper explores two moratoriums in particular, one on the unceded territories and coastlines of western Canada and the other in Aotearoa, New Zealand: one where a moratorium has been in place since 1972; one where legislation has recently banned new exploration. Drawing on preliminary results from a discourse analysis, our paper examines the question of ‘what or whose security’ does a moratorium protect, and what are the implications of such securitisation and regulation for efforts to transition away from fossil fuels in the context of the settler colonial present.

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