Climate Change

Home Expertise Climate Change

Solutions for the future

Climate change related legislation and policy looks set to rapidly develop and change in New Zealand following the 2017 election. Our multidisciplinary specialist team is up-to-date with both international and national developments and provides insightful, clear advice on this evolving area of law.

We have long-standing experience with climate change matters and are able to assist across the full range of current and emerging issues in this area, including advising in relation to:

  • Policy, regulatory and legislative reform.
  • Environmental and planning issues.
  • Governance issues (including compliance with the current New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), reporting and disclosure).
  • Trading emissions units, including:
    • adapting international standard documents for use in New Zealand and preparing bespoke terms and conditions; and
    • advising on the tax consequences of these transactions.
  • Insurance cover and claims. 
  • Litigation (including class actions and judicial review).

Examples of our work in this area include:

  • Assisting clients to develop submissions to Government and engaging with officials across the range of interested government agencies during the law reform process prior to the enactment of the Climate Change Response Act (2002).
  • Providing advice regarding obligations under the NZ ETS (including obligations to report emissions and surrender units, treatment of emissions liability and liabilities arising in respect of deforestation).
  • Advising on agreements between market participants, including obligations to transfer units between parties, and aligning arrangements with the statutory framework and the allocation of liability for regulatory changes.
  • Advising on risks associated with the NZ ETS regime (including in offer documents).
  • 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.
  • Thought leadership in climate change law and policy – recently authoring New Zealand's leading resource management textbook Environmental and Resource Management Law (6th Ed).
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