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Mark Baker-Jones



P+64 9 977 5409

M+64 21 719 806

Mark Baker-Jones

A specialist on climate change issues and adaptation, Mark has worked extensively as a climate change policy advisor both here and in Australia. 

In mid-2019 he finished up his role as advisor to Climate Change Minister, Hon. James Shaw, on development of a new climate change legislative regime for New Zealand. He has a unique insight into the current legislative changes underway, how they will impact New Zealand businesses, and the opportunities they present.

Mark has also been heavily involved in climate change policy development in Queensland, Australia, and continues to hold an advisory board member position on the Queensland State Government Climate Advisory Council. Other previous roles include being a special counsel at DLA Piper (Australia) and a partner at DibbsBarker (now Dentons), and inaugural chair of the Queensland State Government’s Climate Adaptation Strategy Partnership.

In addition to his legal and advisory background in planning, environment and climate change adaptation, Mark has worked with government at national and subnational level, NGOs (including UNESCO, SPREP, and the Nature Conservancy) and private corporations.

He has held academic positions at the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology, is an advisory board member at the Griffith University Law Futures Centre, and has appeared before the UNEP and led a series of workshops in Fiji and Samoa on climate change and the law to Pacific Island nation lawyers and government representatives. His articles on climate change and legal risk, forced migration, and government policy on climate change have been published in numerous peer-reviewed publications.  

Areas of focus

  • Climate change mitigation - including emissions trading, and renewable energy
  • Climate change adaptation, planning and risk management
  • Disclosure and reporting of climate risk
  • Domestic and international government climate change policy and regulation.

Examples of Work

Advised and acted for a number of Australian local and state governments on climate change related matters, including:

  • Co-authoring the Australian Federal Government’s Natural Hazard Legal Risk Guidelines (a guide to legal decision making in the face of climate change) for all Australian coastal government decision makers
  • Developing the Queensland State Government’s Built Environment and Infrastructure Sector Adaptation Plan
  • Developing the Sunshine Coast Council’s Climate Change Implementation Guideline
  • Advising on the Kingborough Council’s Kingston Beach climate change adaptation study
  • Acting in significant coastal erosion litigation.

Advised and acted for proponents of major development including:

  • Queen’s Wharf Brisbane ($3 billion Integrated Tourist Resort and Casino development) - acted for Destination Brisbane Consortium on planning (including infrastructure agreements), environment, and heritage related legal matters
  • Port of Newcastle ($1.75 billion sale of its Port of Newcastle) - acted for Newcastle Port Corporation on environmental and planning legal matters
  • Pacific View Estate ($1 billion Mixed Use Master Planned Community development) - acted for Perron Group on environment and forestry related legal matters
  • Go Between Bridge (multimillion-dollar compulsory Land Appeal Court litigation) - successfully acted for constructing authority, Brisbane City Council
  • TradeCoast Central ($60 million fully integrated master planned corporate office park and industrial community) - acted for TradeCoast Central Pty Ltd
  • Makepeace Island (tourist resort and accommodation development) - acted for Virgin Australia founding partners, Brett Godfrey and Sir Richard Branson, leading Australian property developers and major coastal asset owners (including Pacific Paradise Resort Qld Pty Ltd, Stanway Projects Pty Ltd, Deepwater 1770 Pty Ltd, Northside Projects Pty Ltd, Via San Antonio Pty Ltd), on climate legal risk and various coastal and marine matters including permit to occupy state land and state resource entitlements, and successfully negotiated agreements with State government to enable sustainable coastal development.

Other Credentials

  • 2014 Australian National Climate Adaptation Champion (individual)
  • 2014, 2013 Asia Pacific CR Award
  • Queensland Environmental Lawyers Association - Member 
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors - Member