Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples
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Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

The Search for Legal Remedies

Edited by Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk

Indigenous peoples occupy a unique niche within the climate justice movement, as many indigenous communities live subsistence lifestyles that are severely disrupted by the effects of climate change. Additionally, in many parts of the world, domestic law is applied differently to indigenous peoples than it is to their non-indigenous peers, further complicating the quest for legal remedies. The contributors to this book bring a range of expert legal perspectives to this complex discussion, offering both a comprehensive explanation of climate change-related problems faced by indigenous communities and a breakdown of various real world attempts to devise workable legal solutions. Regions covered include North and South America (Brazil, Canada, the US and the Arctic), the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (China and Nepal) and Africa (Kenya).
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Chapter 23: Negotiating climate change: M_ori, the Crown and New Zealand’s Emission Trading Scheme

Naomi Johnstone


Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, have been engaging with the Crown on issues relating to climate change for many years. While many Māori advocate for a holistic response to climate change, the Crown’s primary focus has been on its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The ETS is the legal regime established by the government in 2008 to reduce carbon emissions and meet its international climate change obligations. The ETS poses both challenges and opportunities for Māori,. Interactions between the Crown and Māori, on the ETS and wider climate change issues have been primarily conducted through consultations, direct dialogue and high-level discussions. This chapter describes some of these interactions and shows how, in some instances, this approach has won important concessions for Māori,. However, in some cases, such as Māori, landowners and the difficulties they face negotiating the forestry components of the ETS, no adequate solution has yet been reached.

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