Planetary Ecology

Lawyers challenge New Zealand’s proposed emissions budgets as inconsistent with the 1.5℃ goal

Robert McLachlan Jul 07, 2021

New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission is facing its first legal hurdle, as a group of 300 climate-concerned lawyers seek judicial review of the processes it used to calculate carbon budgets in its recently released advice to government. Carbon budgets are a cornerstone of New Zealand’s climate change response under the Zero Carbon Act and lie at … Read More

New plastic ban: Interview with Trisia Farrelly

Robert McLachlan Jul 01, 2021

On 27 June, the New Zealand Government announced the phase-out of some hard-to-recycle and some single-use plastics. Robert McLachlan talks to Massey University’s Trisia Farrelly, a tireless campaigner against plastic waste. Trisia: I’m an anthropologist at Massey University, I wear quite a few hats around New Zealand and internationally on plastic pollution, which I’ve been researching since … Read More

So it begins: The Climate Change Commission’s advice to government and what happened next

Robert McLachlan Jun 23, 2021

What’s that? You wanted action, not just words, on climate change? And you wanted it now, not next year or the year after? How about something big, really big, maybe also diving right into the heart of an emotional, touchstone issue – say, the private car?  Welcome to the EV subsidy. The New Zealand government has surprised and delighted electric vehicle … Read More

Jacinda- you beauty!

Guest Author May 17, 2021

Steve Trewick She’s a scarlet, long-legged stunner with dainty white feet, and the male of the species is almost as impressive. Yet this stunning creature has rarely been seen and was only this year formally recognised. Hemiandrus jacinda is a ground wētā named this year for New Zealand’s Prime Minister … Read More

Why did New Zealand’s CO2 emissions blow out so spectacularly in 2019?

Robert McLachlan Apr 18, 2021

Every year in April, the trees start changing colour, the clocks go back an hour, and the national greenhouse gas figures are released and promptly forgotten. They take fifteen months to prepare, so by the time they come out it’s very easy for commentators to point out that they are out of date. Even now that the national media are … Read More

Recreation Transition: low-carbon recreation in the mountains

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

By Jamie Stewart, Federated Mountain Clubs Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC), founded in 1931, represents 96 clubs, 22,000 members and 300,000 people that regularly recreate in the New Zealand backcountry. This article first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Backcountry magazine and is reproduced with permission. (Read the original article). See also “EVs for mountain recreation” ( … Read More

Many New Zealand species are already at risk because of predators and habitat loss. Climate change makes things worse

Guest Author Mar 24, 2021

Cate Macinnis-Ng, University of Auckland and Angus Mcintosh, University of Canterbury Islands are biodiversity hotspots. They are home to 20% of the world’s plants and animals yet cover only 5% of the global landmass. But island ecosystems are highly vulnerable, threatened by habitat fragmentation and introduced invasive weeds and predators. Climate change adds to all these stresses. In our … Read More