Climate Change

Home Expertise Climate Change

Solutions for the future

The Government has made addressing climate change a clear priority. The Zero Carbon Act has now been passed and New Zealand has a target of reducing methane emissions by 24-47% on 2017 levels and reducing all other emissions to net zero by 2050. Obligations under the new legislation are already taking effect, and further legislative and policy changes are expected. These changes will focus on both reducing emissions and adapting to the long term effects of climate change.

A greater degree of compliance will be required from industry, but there will be new opportunities to capitalise on emissions markets and low or carbon-free ventures to take advantage of. We expect action on climate change to cut across all industries and sectors, making a joined-up approach to problem solving essential.
Russell McVeagh has a specialist, multi-disciplinary team able to assist you across the full range of current and emerging issues in this fast moving area of law. We advise on all aspects of clean energy and carbon sink projects, including joint ventures and other structuring, venture capital, project finance, intellectual property protection, land access and development, resource management consents, construction contracts, procurement, output supply arrangements, and related regulatory processes.

Examples of our work in this area include:

  • Assisting clients with Government engagement and legislative reform, including submissions on the Zero Carbon Bill, relevant regulations and the Productivity Commission's low emissions economy report. Our commentary on the Zero Carbon Bill, and other related issues, can be found here.
  • Advising on compliance obligations under NZ ETS, including obligations to report emissions and surrender units, liabilities arising in respect of deforestation and treatment of emissions liability more generally.
  • Advising on agreements between NZ ETS market participants to align arrangements with the statutory framework, ensure smooth and effective unit transfer obligations, and allocate liability for regulatory changes.   
  • Assisting clients in relation to Commerce Commission scrutiny in the climate change area – specifically in relation to carbon reduction or neutrality claims and 'greenwashing' advertising representations.
  • Advising clients on the possibility of launching a green bond offer in New Zealand, as well as the viability of other green funds.
  • Acting on a dispute involving allegations in relation to NZ ETS pricing under a supply contract.
  • Advising on the new role of climate change in the Resource Management Act, including the interface with the Climate Change Response Act.
Please get in touch with any of the people below with your query. We look forward to hearing from you.

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