Student sues Government over inaction on Climate Change

In a New Zealand first, a legal case challenging the government over what is being called its failure to tackle climate change will be heard in Wellington next week.

Hamilton law student Sarah Thomson will challenge the government to justify the way this country’s climate targets have been set.

It will be heard at the High Court in Wellington from Monday and run for three days.

And who is paying for this?  

Ms Thomson said the government’s response to climate change has been blasé and the target needs to be more ambitious.

“We’re already seeing the effects of climate change right now. Every year we’re experiencing more extreme weather like cyclones, droughts and floods.

“Entire communities are being left devastated, yet our government is burying its head in the sand, business as usual,” she said.

The case will include evidence from Victoria University climate scientist James Renwick.

He said New Zealand’s targets for emissions reductions were not good enough.

“It is now recognised that the world must get to zero emissions as quickly as possible, preferably by 2050 with emissions starting to decline no later than 2020, if we are to meet the Paris goals,” he said.

“New Zealand must play its part and ramp up its emissions reduction goals urgently.”

As the Paris accord isn’t binding in any way, I can’t see how a court can compel a government to do anything at all.

Which makes it a publicity stunt.

And an expensive one at that.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.