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New Zealand

Students for Climate Solutions v Minister of Energy and Resources

Jurisdiction: High Court of New Zealand


Principle law(s): Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act (amending the Climate Change Response Act 2002)


Side A: Students for Climate Solutions (Individual)


Side B: Minister of Energy and Resources (Government)


Core objectives: Whether decision to grant permits for oil and gas exploration was unlawful.


Summary
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.

Full case documents will be added as they become available. 


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