Climate Change Commission On Trial – Greenpeace


Today the High Court in Wellington begins hearing a ground-breaking case taken against the Climate Change Commission by Lawyers for Climate Action NZ Inc, who are arguing the Commission’s advice to the Government is not consistent with the science of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Greenpeace lead agriculture campaigner Christine Rose says “There has long been a giant cow-shaped hole in the Ardern Government’s climate policy, with little attempt to regulate New Zealand’s worst climate polluter: intensive dairy. The Climate Commission’s weak advice continues to give the dairy industry a free pass on climate pollution, when it should be clearly recommending bold agricultural policies.”

“Intensive dairying is to New Zealand what coal is to Australia, and makes up half of our emissions. If this Government is serious about tackling the climate crisis, it must address intensive dairy. That means cutting synthetic nitrogen fertiliser, fewer cows and supporting farmers to shift to more plant-based, regenerative organic farming.” said Christine Rose.

Greenpeace says the Climate Change Commission seems more interested in placating the dairy industry than doing what is necessary to avert the climate crisis. The court case comes the day before the IPCC is to release a report detailing the impacts of climate change.

“The Government needs sound advice and pressure to avert catastrophic climate breakdown – not the weak, unambitious advice being provided by the Climate Change Commission,” said Rose.

“This case shows the need for the Government to deliver true climate justice: to protect the world and people we love from the impacts of climate breakdown.”


  1. While intensive dairy makes up just under 1/2 of our emissions, the government seems to be increasing and ignoring the other 1/2 coming from many stupid carbon decisions around NZ power, transport and construction industry.

    Would be more useful if Greenpeace and climate campaigners looked at the entire polluting industries NOT just dairy and point out other types of farming is helping keep emissions down or neutral, while suppling food locally. It should be the biggest polluters being called out, not the industry segment.

    Global CO2 emissions from energy use are set to soar by 1.5 billion tonnes in 2021 – the highest annual increase since the world turned heavily to fossil fuels after the financial crisis in 2010, a major report finds.

    In NZ just a couple of companies make up a significant source of NZ’s power emissions – both majority foreign owned and receiving hand outs from NZ taxpayers for power.

    Cement is the source of about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to think tank Chatham House.

    Water is also a big issue with water consents being granted to golf courses and intensive dairy and overseas polluting water bottling, while smaller farmers suffer drought and cities run out of water.

    Have yet to see solar power as a requirement in the NZ building code but plenty of time spent on other building regulations such as compulsory devices like a heat pump in rental properties. Unfortunately many tenants can not afford the power to run the heat pumps, (solar power is free but not a requirement in new builds) due to all the subsidies on places like Rio Tinto and poor power rules in NZ.

    Greenpeace needs to update and change the record on how they talk about this issue in NZ.


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