Environmental Defence Society v. Auckland Regional Council & Contact Energy Ltd. (Environment Court, 2002)
Jurisdiction: New Zealand
Side A: Environmental Defence Society (Ngo)
Side B: Auckland Regional Council (Government)
Sought government imposition of mitigation measures in granting consent for a power station
The New Zealand environmental court accepted the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a matter of serious concern in an application by Contact Energy for resource consent to construct and operate a 400 megawatt gas fired combined cycle power station in south Auckland. In granting consent for the power station, the Auckland Regional Council failed to impose conditions requiring mitigation of the emissions. The Environmental Defence Society appealed the council's decision, seeking a declaration to require Contact Energy to offset the emissions by a program of forestry sequestration. Although the court accepted the scientific consensus on the contributions of GHG emissions to climate change, it dismissed the appeal, questioning the efficacy of imposing mitigation measures.