Germany's top climate diplomat says reopening New Zealand to offshore oil and gas exploration would go against science and economics.
German government special envoy Jennifer Morgan, who is also Germany's state secretary and special representative for international climate policy as well as a former top manager and adviser for Greenpeace International, the Potsdam Institute and WWF, said she was impressed by New Zealand's ban on exploring for new oil and gas reserves off the coast.
Told the incoming government had campaigned on repealing the ban, Morgan said the evidence was clear that there was no room in a safe climate for opening new fossil fuel reserves.
"I think the science is quite clear on this, and I would say the finance. The science from the International Energy Agency says we need to go renewable and build it up, and we can because it is affordable and available, and there's no room for new coal, oil or gas exploration. They also make the point that the risk of stranded assets, of investing big public or private money into new fossil fuel developments is quite high."
Both the National and ACT parties campaigned on repealing the ban, and the two parties are currently in talks with NZ First to form the next government.
The German envoy was visiting New Zealand on her way to the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga.
"One thing I've noted looking from afar is how impressed I've been by the offshore oil and gas exploration ban and I think that's something the Pacific leaders are also very impressed on. There's a big call from them to have no new fossil fuel development."
Morgan said she had watched the devastation wrought by New Zealand's recent cyclones as well as the severe damage caused more recently in Vanuatu by Cyclone Lola.
She said climate change was proving a serious problem already, and the upcoming climate summit in Dubai would be the most important since Paris in 2015.
This year countries will take stock of their progress towards the global goal of limiting heating to 1.5C above the pre-fossil fuel era average. Every increment above that raises species losses, sea level rise and extreme weather as well as the numbers of people killed and displaced by fossil-fuel-worsened events.
Countries will also progress a fund to help poorer countries repair the loss and damage being wrought by climate change-linked disasters, which will be paid for by developed countries including New Zealand.