The New Zealand Government is being sued over its climate change policy by a young law student.
Sarah Thomson, 24, has filed judicial review proceedings against the Minister of Climate Change Issues, claiming Tim Groser has failed his ministerial duties by not setting adequate emission targets.
Ms Thomson, who has recently completed law studies at Waikato University, says emission targets need to reflect the scientific consensus on climate change.
"All the world's scientists agree that climate change is real, that humans are causing it, and that urgent action is needed, but I can't see our government taking it seriously," Ms Thomson said.
"The science shows that New Zealand's emissions targets just aren't good enough to avoid dangerous climate change. Scientists agree that the reductions are too small and will take too long."
She says the High Court will be asked to review the legality and reasonableness of New Zealand's emissions targets under the Climate Change Response Act 2002.
Prime Minister John Key has dismissed the legal action as "a joke".
"If we're getting sued, I hate to think what's going to happen to the United States and Australia and other countries because their climate change targets are lower than ours," he said.