Cross appeal focus on climate change

A battle between scientists was the likely outcome of reconsidering climate change issues in the Project Hayes wind farm case, Justice John Fogarty said in the Dunedin High Court yesterday.

Justice Fogarty and Justice Lester Chisholm heard a cross appeal by Roch Sullivan on the Environment Court's decision to decline consents for the 176-turbine wind farm proposed by Meridian Energy on the Lammermoor Range.

Mr Sullivan raised two main points relating to the climate change issues before the Environment Court.

He believed it had incorrectly construed and applied the definition of climate change in the Resource Management Act.

As well, the court had overlooked the evidence of one witness on climate change, Mr Sullivan said.

His counsel, Michael Fisher, said if Meridian's appeal of the Environment Court decision succeeded and the matter was reheard, Mr Sullivan wanted the court directed to reconsider climate change issues.

Earlier this week, the judges spent three days hearing the Meridian appeal.

The energy company has asked for the Environment Court decision to be quashed and consents granted.

Decisions on both appeals have been reserved.

Justice Chisholm said climate change appeared to have been a "non-issue" in the Environment Court decision.

However, the court had noted the wind farm proposal would contribute to reducing the effects of climate change.

The topic was a controversial one, with scientists lined up on either side of the debate, Justice Fogarty said.


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