Simon Watt

AuthorSimon Watt

Bell Gully partner Simon Watt specialises in climate change law and providing commercial and public law advice to public sector entities. Simon has long standing involvement in the development of the climate change framework in New Zealand, including advising the New Zealand Government on the design of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and associated climate change legislation. His international work has involved some of the nations that will be among those most affected by climate change. He advised Bangladesh on a range of climate change issues (and provided representation to advance that country’s position at major international conferences such as Copenhagen and Cancun), advised the Government of Aceh, Indonesia, on the world’s first carbon trade for avoided deforestation, and addressed the Attorneys- and Solicitors-General of 15 Pacific Island states on climate change adaptation and financing. Simon occupies a unique position in the New Zealand legal market, combining commercial and banking and finance (traded products) expertise with his environmental experience. He advises both domestic and international businesses on carbon trading and on the implications of the NZ ETS and Paris Agreement. Simon has featured in the climate change rankings of the international legal directory Chambers Global for a decade, and for the past four years has been the only New Zealand lawyer to be ranked.

High cost of Zero Carbon Act drives need for flexibility

It has been a significant year for efforts to address climate change in New Zealand. We have had the first taste of what may be in the Zero Carbon Bill, the unveiling of proposed changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme and numerous recommendations from the Productivity Commission. But among all the consultations lies an inconvenient truth of another kind. To reach the goals set, there will be an...

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