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New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law

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Palmer, Dr Kenneth --- "Foreword" [2009] NZJlEnvLaw 1; (2009) 13 NZJEL v

Last Updated: 30 January 2023




A dominating event for the year 2009 has been the global economic recession involving the collapse (and support) of many financial institutions, and the responses of governments to manage the situation. The impact on poorer countries has been severe, and combined with incremental climatic change, the survival for world populations, species, and the ecology, has become more urgent. Regarding climate change and its consequences, on the positive side, the veracity of scientific knowledge appears to have persuaded most governments that the purpose and vision of the Kyoto Protocol should be maintained and implemented. The meeting of world leaders and experts in Copenhagen in December 2009 represents a significant advance in global understanding and acceptance of the challenges to mitigate adverse environmental effects. The solutions may lead to adjustments in industry, energy production, transport use, and even policies on sensitive matters such as world population growth. Recognition of long­term sustainability of the planet is an unquestioned objective. The present reliance upon promoting emissions trading schemes appears a doubtful enduring solution, if the systems become merely another licence to continue the emission of greenhouse gases.

This issue of the Journal includes a variety of articles which deal with both international and domestic environmental subjects. Consideration is first given to the regulation of carbon capture and storage as an important area of future management. The relationship between the Kyoto Protocol and the World Trade Organization remains to be reconciled. Legal protections and responses to scientific developments is an ongoing issue. Dealing with the disposal of electronic waste is a particular feature of this new century. The enhancement of wildlife conservation in Africa remains a long­standing objective. The articles concerning New Zealand law consider development contributions to finance infrastructure, legislation promoting affordable housing, and the powers to deal with waste minimisation. An end page lists recent books received.

The editor wishes to acknowledge the significant contributions to environmental and legal understanding by the respective authors. In relation to production, the skills of Mike Wagg in subediting are gratefully recognised, and those of Amy Tansell of Words Alive for layout of the Journal. The collegial support of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law and from the academic and general staff of the Law School of the University of Auckland is acknowledged with appreciation.

Dr Kenneth Palmer


Faculty of Law

The University of Auckland December 2009

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