New Zealand

Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. v. Buller Coal Ltd. (High Court of New Zealand, 2012)

Jurisdiction: New Zealand


Side A: Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Incorporated (Ngo)


Side B: Buller Coal Limited (Corporation)


Core objectives: Challenged court's decision to give a permit to conduct coal mining activities.


Summary
Buller Coal received a permit to conduct coal mining activities at the Escarpment Mine in New Zealand. The appellant challenged the environment court's decision in favor of Buller, and raised two questions under the country's 1991 Resource Management Act. The first: Under section 104(1) of the Act, does the decision maker have to consider the contribution that the subsequent emissions will make towards climate change. The second: Under section 7(i) of the Act, must the decision-maker must give particular regard to the effects of climate change, including the contribution that the subsequent emissions will have towards the effects of climate change. The court affirmed the decision of the environment court and dismissed the appeal. The court surveyed domestic and international considerations and opted for a narrow reading of the Act, stating that a full consideration of climate effects in matters like these must await the introduction of a national environmental standard in New Zealand.
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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