The Resource Management Act should prevent activities that advance global warming, argues Debs Martin.
It’s 2012, polar ice caps are melting, average global temperatures are rising and still New Zealand refuses to deal with climate change.
Climate change is the single biggest threat to biodiversity, and with some of the highest and most unusual biodiversity in the world, New Zealand has more to lose than most.
Despite this, New Zealand’s policy opens the door to companies bent on digging up fossil fuels.
When burnt, these fuels release the greenhouse gases responsible for warming the planet.
Climate change is not going to disappear. We need to change our ways.
In a hearing earlier this month, the Environment Court had the opportunity to acknowledge climate change as a negative effect to be considered under the Resource Management Act (RMA), but its interpretation of the law ruled this not permissible.
Because of the ruling, resource consent applications for developments such as coal mining do not have to consider the effects of climate change.