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An ideal environment
The Resource Management Act 1991 is a law that sets out how to control impacts on the environment. Its basis is the sustainablemanagement of resources. If activities affect the environment, such as building a dam, thenresource consent is required. Local councils are in charge of these. This allows the community to be involved in the process.
Genesis Energy must apply for or have consents for its new projects and its existing stations. For example, the location of new wind farms or access to the Waikato River for hydropower will need consent. Claims must identify the good and bad effects and ways that the bad effects may be prevented or reduced. Once consent is sought, the public is able to make suggestions. The council may also hold a public hearing.
The process of gaining consent can take time. Genesis Energy uses specialist staff and external consultants to help them with this large undertaking. The development of a Resource Consents Management System allows staff to oversee all consents.
Climate change is a concern for the world. Genesis Energy places the environment high on its priority list. Every aspect of its business creates greenhouse emissions. The company-wide goal is to responsibly manage its impact on climate change.
Subsequent to the signing of the Kyoto Protocol, the government awarded 'carbon credits' to Genesis Energy for a wind farm project. The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the United Nations. Its aim is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases. If a business is able to reduce or maintain its emissions, it is awarded carbon credits. The credits may be sold to other businesses that want to make extra carbon emissions.
Sustainability of our resources for the future is important. The Kyoto Protocol is the result of increasing awareness of the need for pollution control. One hundred and forty one countries signed the agreement. However, the US (the world’s major emitter of greenhouse gases), and Australia stayed out of the agreement. Some countries, like India and China, which did sign, are not required to reduce carbon emissions under the present agreement, despite their huge populations. Many New Zealand businesses, such as Genesis Energy, are committed to reducing emissions from their own activities and those of their stakeholders, e.g., in the case of Genesis Energy, their large industrial customers.