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Students for Climate Solutions v Minister of Energy and Resources
New Zealand
Asia and the Pacific
Data source:
Sabin Center
Court name:
High Court of New Zealand
On November 9, 2021 a group of law students sued the New Zealand Minister for Energy and Resources, challenging the Minister's June 2021 decision to grant permits for onshore oil and gas exploration. The students seek a judicial review of the permitting decision. The students claim the minister's June 2021 decision to issue exploration permits in the Taranaki area is inconsistent with the government’s legal obligations under the country’s Zero Carbon Act and the Paris agreement and that she failed to consider key facts like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent warnings about climate change’s severity. In 2018, the government banned new offshore exploration for oil and gas reserves and in 2020 it declared New Zealand was facing a climate emergency. However it has allowed energy companies to continue to apply for permits for onshore oil and gas exploration.

Key environmental legal questions:

Whether decision to grant permits for oil and gas exploration was unlawful.
Suits against governments; Natural resource extraction; Environmental assessment and permitting