Environmental law

Environmental Law is complex and sometimes highly contentious. It encompasses the science, economics and ethics in relation to natural resources and our environment and they are not always happy bedfellows. Environmental law requires the interpretation of existing laws and rulings and the development of new ones.

Te Piringa - Faculty of Law has established a Centre for Environmental Resources and Energy Law (CEREL) where researchers tackle environmental law issues using the faculty’s internationally recognised research strengths in energy and environmental law, sustainable development and national resource management, and specifically in a New Zealand context, addresses issues relating to Maori and indigenous peoples such as water and energy efficiency, petroleum and minerals, coastal and marine environments and indigenous resource issues.

CEREL is headed by Professor Barry Barton who is working with government and industry insiders to develop a legal and regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage (CCS). He is also part of the Otago University-led project Energy Cultures Project investigating how society can adapt rapidly to achieve a low-energy, low-carbon future. The first part looked at household energy use and the second phase worth $3,199,694 over four years is looking at the future of transport, what technologies are becoming available, what new fuels are likely, and how households and businesses might adopt these or change their behaviour in other ways.

Our researchers active in this area include: