The Climate Change and Business Conference, Auckland, couldn’t have fallen on a more significant week this year.
As the IPCC released their Summary for Policy Makers Report, just three days shy of the event, it came as no surprise that conversations centred around the findings, challenges and synopses that were detailed in the report. Thus, also setting the agenda on where New Zealand positions regarding our efforts to reduce our carbon emissions.
Attending this year’s event was WSP Opus Manager Sustainability & Climate Change Solutions, Saul Chambers. The event was open to ministers, policymakers, directors and key decision makers. Below Saul gives his comments on the conference.
5 Takeaways from the Climate Change and Business Conference
1. New Zealand is through the consultation stage of drafting the Zero Carbon Bill. We’ve been informed that there is optimism for cross-party agreement, that decarbonisation of our economy is a real possibility and that other leading countries have found they can increase GDP and prosperity of our people.
2. The Government has been busy working on cross-party agreements on the Zero Carbon Act. This includes the revision of the ETS and tangible plans on how we are to meet our Paris Agreement targets to keep the earth to a 1.5-degree temperature rise.
3. Through the Climate Leaders Coalition (which represent 50% of NZ emissions) we are seeing business pledging to reduce emissions in line with science-based targets.
4. There is optimism that we will reach at least 95% renewable energy before 2030 and that we are fortunate to be in a strong position to divest from poor agriculture, forestry and tourism practices.
5. But and here comes the curtain call…There will be no calls for an encore or subsequent standing ovation. NZ needs to be a leader in reducing its emissions and other countries need to follow our example, as we in-turn must follow others.
2018 was the year the world finally woke up to the unrelenting catastrophe that is climate change. As the earth overheats, we are experiencing the links unfold across the globe with drought, fires, mega-storms and flooding. Our oceans becoming acidic and life simply becoming killed off at an alarming rate. I hope to see the common theme that was apparent throughout the Climate Change and Business Conference come into fruition.
Saul Chambers, WSP Opus Manager Sustainability & Climate Change Solutions.
Saul has over 25 years’ experience leading the implementation of sustainability, and climate change programmes. He was one of three New Zealander’s selected as a Fulbright Climate Change Professional Fellow with the US States Department. Having worked for Auckland Regional Council, the Auckland Regional Transport Department, Auckland Council and Todd Property he brings a wealth of experience in sustainable action planning. Connect with Saul on LinkedIn