Climate change should be a factor in coal mine consenting process

A proposed new coal mine at Mokau, South Waikato, shows why the Resource Management Act (RMA) should allow local authorities such as regional councils to take the causes of climate change into account, the Green Party said today.

Mokau South Resources has applied to the Waikato Regional Council to dam, pollute, and discharge water in relation to a new coal mine it hopes to open under a mining permit it’s held since 1990. Since 2004, the RMA has prevented councils from considering climate change mitigation as part of resource consent applications.

“Coal causes climate change, so local authorities should be able to take that into account when they’re looking at consent applications under the RMA,” Green Party environment spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“National is failing to show leadership on climate change at the central government level, but local governments can’t step up because the RMA doesn’t allow them to consider how activities contribute to climate change or set mitigation conditions.

“The proposed strip mine is a bad idea not just because of the local environmental impacts on native forest and the Mokau River, but also because of the contribution coal makes to climate change.

“The science is clear that to prevent runaway climate change we can’t burn 80 percent of the fossil fuels that have already been discovered, so there’s no point opening new coal mines.

“Coal mines around New Zealand and the world are shutting up shop because the economics don’t stack up. Opening a new coal mine ignores the science and the economics of energy in the twenty first century.

“We need to stop opening new coal mines and turn our attention to clean industries and creating new jobs for communities that have traditionally relied on mining,” said Ms Sage.

Latest Environment Announcements


Green Party commits to stronger urban tree protection and no new mines on public conservation land

The Green Party is the only party in Parliament which is explicitly committing to protecting public conservation land and the indigenous plants and...
Read More


Greens must be at table during RMA reform to protect environment

The Green Party welcomes Labour’s commitment to reform the Resource Management Act, but says a Green voice is crucial to ensure the environment is ...
Read More


Take action to protect our oceans

We’re taking the health of our oceans seriously and our Thriving Oceans Plan sets out exactly how the Green Party will protect them so we all can e...

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting...
Read More

Farming for the Future

Here in Aotearoa, we can have a thriving and sustainable farming sector that is good for farmers, good for people, and good for the planet. By mak...
Read More


More action on waste – Government funds recycling infrastructure, moves to standardise kerbside collections

$36.7m Government investment in high-tech recycling plants nationwide Plan to standardise and improve the nation’s kerbside collections As part o...
Read More

Latest Energy and Resources Announcements


Labour’s energy policy shows progress, but more action needed to protect the planet

The Green Party says Labour’s energy policy is a step in the right direction, but the Greens would go further and faster to meaningfully tackle the...
Read More


Stronger Green voice needed next term to stop more mining on or under conservation land

The Green Party is strongly opposed to MBIE’s decision to grant mining permits under public conservation land in the Coromandel.
Read More


Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer

Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources M...
Read More

Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party has always been clear that climate change needs to be tackled now, and we’ve done more in the last three years than the past 30 ye...
Read More


Clean energy

We know we need to go further and faster on climate action, which is why we’re proposing a plan to kick-start the transition to end the use of foss...


Energy Policy

Click here for our 2020 Election Clean Energy Plan A just transition to a sustainable economy means using affordable, clean fuels and creating new...
See More