New Zealand Climate Change Regulation

Chapter 5, Climate Change Law and Policy in New Zealand. 166-213. Lexis Nexis, Wellington, 2011

50 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2013

See all articles by Vernon Rive

Vernon Rive

Auckland University of Technology

Date Written: July 1, 2011


This chapter presents an overview of New Zealand statutory and policy instruments and initiatives relating to climate change. The chapter commences with an outline of the historical development of climate change policy and regulation in New Zealand. That history is traced from the establishment of the Government’s Climate Change Programme in 1988 through to decisions taken in 2007 to implement the world's first national “all-sectors, all-gases” emissions trading scheme. After summarising climate change obligations and targets accepted or adopted by successive New Zealand governments, a discussion of key current climate change measures is presented. It includes New Zealand's central climate change statute, the Climate Change Response Act 2002 (CCRA), and the NZ ETS which operates under it. Policies and initiatives relating to biofuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency and forestry are then addressed. A brief analysis of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) as it relates to climate change follows, with an overview of local government measures in this area. The final aspects reviewed are a number of key non-regulatory climate change measures, including the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research and associated domestic research, development and advisory schemes, together with the recently announced “Green Growth” initiative. The chapter concludes with a high-level review of the effectiveness of the policies and measures to date, and considers the limited information available on projected emissions, taking into account the measures in place and proposed.

Keywords: climate change, law, New Zealand, emissions trading, Kyoto Protocol, United Nations Framework Convention, complementary measures, emissions trading

Suggested Citation

Rive, Vernon, New Zealand Climate Change Regulation (July 1, 2011). Chapter 5, Climate Change Law and Policy in New Zealand. 166-213. Lexis Nexis, Wellington, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Vernon Rive (Contact Author)

Auckland University of Technology ( email )

AUT City Campus
Private Bag 92006
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand
09 921 9999 (Phone)


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