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Catherine Leining

Catherine Leining is a Policy Fellow, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Commissioner at the New Zealand Climate Change Commission (He Pou a Rangi). She serves as a member on the NZCGS Board.

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, Catherine provides 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. Catherine 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, , S. Kerr and B. Bruce-Brand. 2019. “The New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme: Critical Review and Future Outlook for Three Design Innovations.” Climate Policy.

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.

Catherine can be contacted via email at [email protected]