The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.
Previously, under the RMA, climate change could not be considered. This loophole resulted in a process where decision-makers could not decline large climate-polluting projects, even if they thought the climate impacts were problematic and should be considered.
These changes are part of the Resource Management Amendment Bill which passed into law tonight.
“We’ve long called out this loophole that allowed the consenting of things like coal mines and fossil fuel power plants, without consideration of their impact on the climate.” Greens Climate Change spokesperson James Shaw said today.
“The late Jeanette Fitzsimons had a member’s bill on this and campaigned long and hard, right up until last year. She, and other former and current Green MPs, particularly Gareth Hughes, raised this as an ongoing problem that needed solving.
“We are so glad in government to have got it sorted. This aligns with our net zero carbon ambitions and will ultimately result in a safer planet for future generations.
“In my view, this is one of the most significant policy changes to address climate change that we have done this term”.
The changes will come into effect when government has developed national policy guidelines.