High Court decision on climate change response welcomed

  • Hon James Shaw
Climate Change

Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today welcomed the High Court decision in Thomson v Minister for Climate Change Issues as an important judicial contribution to the critical issue of how Government should respond to climate change. 

In its decision, the court acknowledged that the case had been overtaken by the election of the new Government, and that it was for that new Government to weigh the competing factors and reach a view about appropriate climate change targets.

“The case reflected the seriousness of the climate change concerns raised by Ms Thomson and her supporters,” Mr Shaw said.

“The new Government is committed to enacting the Zero Carbon Act, placing into law the target of becoming a carbon-neutral economy by the year 2050.

“The new, politically independent Climate Commission that we will establish, will be tasked with setting out a pathway towards the 2050 goal. That may well include revising New Zealand’s 2030 target, which was the subject of Ms Thomson’s claim.

“The case highlights the strong feelings held by many Kiwis that Governments must do more to ensure that New Zealand plays its part in the global fight against climate change. This new Government is committed to doing exactly that,” Mr Shaw said.