Climate litigation NZ-style

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, June 26th, 2017 - 9 comments
Categories: climate change, disaster, Environment - Tags: , , ,

Coverage from Newshub,

The New Zealand Government is being sued over its climate change policy.

A three-day hearing starts in the High Court at Wellington on Monday, where Hamilton law student Sarah Thomson, 26, is taking a judicial review against the minister of climate change issues.

She says they have failed in their ministerial duties by not setting adequate emission targets.

Similar lawsuits have been launched overseas, but this is the first time for New Zealand.

Ms Thomson said she decided to take the case because not enough was being done here about climate change.

“I felt worried and scared about our future and my kids’ future as well, so I decided to do something,” she said in a social media post earlier this month.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author and Victoria University of Wellington Professor, James Renwick and former NASA researcher James Hansen are expected to give evidence.

Background on Sarah and the basis for the case can be found in the Sarah v government post.

Follow via twitter at #climatelitigation.

RNZ interview from this morning (3 mins).

B-side Stories interview where Sarah talks about what the case and issues are, what they are hoping to achieve, and what the court process will be like. She also talks about the international precedents.




9 comments on “Climate litigation NZ-style”

  1. Poission 1

    She says they have failed in their ministerial duties by not setting adequate emission targets.

    1)What is an adequate emission target? (for NZ)

    2) Are the metrics for measuring emissions from nz adequate?

    3) Are the metrics for ascertaining the net emissions (gross emissions – sinks) current in regard to recent scientific evidence?

    • weka 1.1

      1. afaik she’s not determining what they should be but saying they should be inline with international targets in relation to the Paris agreement

      2. no idea

      3. depends on whose interpretation of the science you read. Myself, I think we should use the precautionary principle which means doing better than Paris, but I’m also pragmatic enough that the mainstream needs to start somewhere, so Paris is good enough to start with so long as we keep pushing for better.

      • Poission 1.1.1

        3 is not on the science but on the measurement process for emissions and sinks and the current science.

  2. greywarshark 2

    This is amazing. Another NZr taking the gummint to Court so they have to get off their sorry arses and argue their side and be held to account. Thank you Sarah.

  3. philj 3

    Kia kaha Sarah! Treachery, corruption and subterfuge comes to mind. This is not ABs
    or AM Cup. Our priorities are askew. The world will be radically changed, ready or not, and the current government is primarily looking for the next dollar! Reckless.

  4. ..

    The call for “alternative energy” is really about Peak Oil – Derrick Jensen
    Derrick Jensen delivers some home truths about the NGO-led climate marches and efforts to “save the planet”.

    The main aim of the NGO’s and their corporate backers is to get subsidies for a growing sector of the industrial economy.

    Between climate change, Peak Oil and habitat destruction solar, wind and electric cars are not going to save the planet, let alone the economy.

    We are headed for inevitable collapse and the best thing that could happen for the Living Planet is an immediate collapse of the industrial economy and to prepare people for the inevitable collapse.

    This, of course, leaves out the question of what will happen to all the nuclear power stations when the power goes off.

    Otherwise, I am in 100 % agreement.

    It’s time people started thinking for themselves rather than “shooting the messenger”

  5. greywarshark 5

    I hope everyone in NZ now that the Americas Cup is nearly over – bar the shouting – will follow this case avidly. It’s a great battle for little NZrs against the power of the Bulldozer Government.

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