Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Climate Change: James Shaw pretends to be helpless

RNZ this morning reports that Climate Change Minister James Shaw is open to another look at climate change rules to ensure that the Zero Carbon Act and its statutory target can actually be legally enforced:

"If the temperature threshold is the point of the entire legislation, then surely it should be part of the actual decision."

If court action revealed that climate change legislation was not protecting citizens effectively then it was worth reconsidering it, Shaw said.

Changes were not being actively investigated, and they were waiting on judgements to land.

The law in question is s5ZN of the Climate Change Response Act, which allows (but does not require) decision-makers to consider climate change targets in decisions. But it might not actually need to change, because s5ZO allows the "responsible Minister" - presumably the Minister for Climate Change - to issue guidance to departments on when and how to do that, including what to take into account. I was curious about whether the Minister had issued such guidance, or whether there was any under development, so I filed an OIA request with the Minister. The answer? Of course not:
I have not issued guidance under s5ZO of the Climate Change Response Act 2002 (CCRA) to date in my capacity as Minister of Climate Change.
If the Minister actually wants the law to be effective, maybe he should? And if he doesn't, then all his hand-wringing just smells like more insincere pretend helplessness...