The Resource Management Act is currently under review. It sets out the system and rules for planning authorities (mainly councils) to approve or reject applications for new developments of all kinds.
The 2004 amendment to the RMA specifically prohibits planning authorities from considering the global warming effect of greenhouse gas emissions. The offending sections are 104E and 70A both of which state that “…a regional council must not have regard to the effects of (such a) discharge on climate change….”
These clauses need to be revoked to begin with, and then the Act improved in other ways so it can be an effective tool for cutting greenhouse gas (‘carbon’) emissions. Then planning authorities such as councils will need to actually use these new powers and meet their obligations under the new improved Act. Making this happen is and will continue to be an ongoing campaign focus for our group. You can follow developments on our blog here.
More information on the programme of reform can be found on the Ministry for the Environment website here.