Catherine Leining is a Policy Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and Commissioner, New Zealand Climate Change Commission (He Pou a Rangi) and NZCGS Board Member.
Catherine’s expertise is in domestic and international climate change mitigation policy with specialisation in market-based mechanisms like emissions trading. She holds a BS in biology and French from Duke University (USA).
Catherine currently leads Motu’s programme “Shaping New Zealand’s Low-Emission Future,” which includes policy research and stakeholder dialogue on climate change mitigation. Her work has focused on the history and evaluation of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme; sectoral pathways for decarbonisation; and managing the distributional impacts of climate change mitigation policies. As part of the Climate Change Commission, she is providing independent advice to the government on achieving a thriving, climate-resilient and low-emission Aotearoa.
Catherine is currently consulting independently under Silver Lining Global Solutions. After moving to New Zealand from the US in 2003, she was a Senior Analyst/Senior Operator at the Ministry for the Environment, where she helped design the NZ ETS and served as a climate change negotiator under the UNFCCC. She has also held fixed-term senior policy roles at Wellington City Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
A few of Catherine’s recent publications include:
- Leining, C., S. Kerr and B. Bruce-Brand. 2019. “The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme: Critical Review and Future Outlook for Three Design Innovations.” Climate Policy, https://doi.org/10.1080/14693062.2019.1699773.
- Leining, C. and S. Kerr. 2019. “Scarcity and Ambition in the NZ ETS.” Motu Working Paper 19-07. Wellington: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
- Cortes-Acosta, S., A. Grimes and C. Leining. 2020. “Decision Trees: Forestry in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme post-2020.” Motu Working Paper 20-11. Wellington: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
- Kerr, S. and C. Leining. 2019. “Paying for Mitigation: How New Zealand Can Contribute to Others’ Efforts.” Motu Working Paper 19-09. Wellington: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
- Kerr, S. and C. Leining. 2019. “Uncertainty, Risk and Investment and the NZ ETS.” Motu Working Paper 19-08. Wellington: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
- Winchester, N., D. White and C. Leining. 2019. “A Community of Practice for Economic Modelling of Climate Change Mitigation in New Zealand.” Motu Working Paper 19-12. Wellington: Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.