Climate Change

Climate change is the biggest challenge of the 21st century, affecting our economy, environment and way of life. Since emerging as a legal issue in New Zealand more than two decades ago, our team has been at the forefront of advising clients on matters relating to climate change and impacts on business.

We recognise the challenges climate change presents for business.  We provide innovative legal advice to boards, executive teams and sustainability managers to ensure businesses strategically position themselves to adapt to climate change and the demand for more information about environment, social and corporate governance.  We regularly assist with disputes associated with climate change risks.

Our team has a multi-disciplinary approach to climate change-related legal and financial risk management that includes commercial, environmental, tax, insurance, banking and financial lawyers.

Specific project involvement

  • Establishment of DrylandCarbon Partnership – Advised Z Energy Limited, Air New Zealand Limited, Genesis Energy Limited and Contact Energy Limited on the establishment of the DrylandCarbon Partnership – a limited liability partnership that invests in a geographically diversified forest portfolio to sequester carbon.
  • New Zealand’s first ESG loan – Acted for Synlait in entering the country’s first Environmental, Social and Governance linked loan, where the pricing is based off performance against an external ESG benchmark.
  • Aiming for carbon zero – Advised on the commercial and regulatory programme for its Hydrogen project in support of its 2040 carbon zero target.
  • Climate-related litigation – Acting on an arbitration for a company regarding a dispute as to who is contractually responsible for satisfying carbon emissions obligations pursuant to an indemnity.
  • Regular advice on climate change – Governance advice on climate change responsibilities and challenges, including arising from the Zero Carbon Bill and other regulatory frameworks; advising on offsetting agreements and novel projects designed to reduce emissions and transition businesses; disputes about responsibility for emissions liability and climate risk.  Clients include Refining New Zealand, Ports of Auckland, major banks, government ministries and a wide range of energy companies.

"We think they are hugely skilled and experienced in terms of their legal knowledge and pragmatic understanding of the matters they have run." – Chambers Asia Pacific

How we help

  • Environment & Planning
  • Sustainable finance (including green bonds, ESG loans)
  • Renewable energy
  • Governance advice across all sectors
  • Forestry

Who can help

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