Thomson v. Minister for Climate Change Issues [2017] NZHC 733 (New Zealand)

Sarah Thomson initiated a judicial review concerning the Government of New Zealand’s response to climate change, which she considered insufficient in the light (among others) of New Zealand’s obligations under international law. Her claims relating to New Zealand’s NDC were dismissed.

In an obiter at para. 38, Mallon J. notes a country’s NDC is not binding under international law. This is doubtful. States have an obligation under article 4, paragraph 2, of the Paris Agreement, to take measures in view of realizing the objectives of their NDCs. NDCs may also constitute unilateral declarations capable of creating legal obligations.

See NMs. Thomson’s complaint and Mallon J.’ judgment. For a brief analysis, look here.