First, the plaintiff requested an order for the Minister for Climate Change Issues to review New Zealand’s 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target based on Section 225 of the Climate Change Response Act, which requires a review following the publication of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and Section 224, on administrative law grounds. The Court ruled that this order was unnecessary given that the new government had announced it would set a new 2050 target. Second, the plaintiff sought an order declaring that the Minister’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) decision was unlawful, on the grounds that the Minister failed to consider: the cost of dealing with the adverse impacts of climate change in a “business as usual” situation; the adverse impacts on citizens living in at risk areas; and the scientific consensus that the combined NDCs of Parties to the Paris Agreement fall short of preventing a dangerous climate system. Third, the plaintiff pled that the NDC decision lacked a reasonable basis for believing the NDC would strengthen the global climate response and avoid a dangerous climate system. Ruling on the second and third causes of action, the Court found that the government had followed the international framework and no errors required judicial intervention. The application for judicial review was thereby dismissed.
Environmental Legal Questions: