Climate Change

Home Expertise Climate Change

Solutions for the future

Climate policy in New Zealand is in a state of transformation. The Government has made climate change mitigation a core priority and set the wheels in motion for substantial changes to the way carbon emissions are treated. The introduction of a Zero Carbon Act, as well as a significant overhaul to the emissions trading scheme, are just some of the policy proposals that businesses need to be aware of. Looking forward, a greater degree of compliance will be required from industry, but there will also be new opportunities to capitalise on emissions markets and low or carbon-free ventures to take advantage of.

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 and the Productivity Commission's low emissions economy report.
  • 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 in order 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.
  • Thought leadership in climate change law and policy, including as authors of New Zealand's leading resource management textbook Environmental and Resource Management Law (6th Ed), and as regular commentators on carbon policy reform. Our commentary on the Zero Carbon Bill, and other related issues, can be found here.

Please get in touch with any of the people below with your query. We look forward to hearing from you.

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