The law of climate change mitigation in New Zealand
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Laws
As the world strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, the law has a crucial role to play in supporting mitigation solutions. Starting with the common law's potential for the development of a climate change tort in New Zealand, this thesis analyses the applicability of New Zealand's environmental land use planning law before turning to how an New Zealand emissions unit under the Climate Change Response Act 2002 will work in theory and practice to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This thesis argues that the operation of corporations to drive these reductions as well as the development of renewable electricity from water, geothermal, wind and marine resources will require an integrated approach to sustainability. It explains that the transition from fossil fuels which can be owned to fugacious renewable resources which are incapable of ownership until capture requires reconsideration of the nature of property. Energy efficiency and conservation in addition to sequestration which reduce greenhouse gas emissions expose opportunities and problems associated with disaggregating property law rights. It concludes that New Zealand law must keep sight of the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through all levels of society, namely, climate change mitigation.