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Forest & Bird appeals climate change ruling


Forest & Bird appeals climate change ruling

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Forest & Bird has today announced it will appeal the Environment Court’s recent decision that stops the effects on climate change from being considered under the Resource Management Act (RMA).

The case will be heard in the High Court and if successful will mean that the contribution to climate change will be considered during the resource consent process for developments such as coal mining.

Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin says Forest & Bird believes the RMA should not ignore the negative effects of climate change. “The RMA is about managing developments while ensuring sustainability for future generations. It’s the place where those discussions on the contribution to climate change need to be heard – before a project is given the green light to proceed.”

The appeal has arisen out of Forest & Bird’s campaign to save the West Coast’s Denniston Plateau on public conservation land from being destroyed by open-cast coal mining. “Climate change is the biggest threat to the sustainability of the world’s biodiversity. The court’s ruling means the impact on climate change will not be taken into account when environmental implications are being considered in the proposal to mine Denniston. It also has much wider implications if, for any development, climate change is ignored.”

“As New Zealand’s voice for nature Forest & Bird has to seek clarification of the law.”

Forest & Bird considers that climate change regulation under the Kyoto Protocol is inadequate on its own.

“To suggest that the Kyoto Protocol deals with climate change is ignoring the elephant in the room. The Kyoto Protocol merely puts a price on carbon. It doesn’t allow us to consider whether the implications for climate change mean that the project should not go ahead,” she says.

Forest & Bird is seeking a 5900 hectare reserve on the Denniston Plateau to protect it from open-cast mining and give future generations the opportunity to make decisions regarding mining and burning coal.

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