New Zealand’s largest climate conference set to catalyse the shift from climate ambition to action

The critical role of business in transitioning Aotearoa New Zealand to a zero-carbon economy will be centre stage in Tāmaki Makaurau next week at the largest Climate Change and Business Conference yet.

500 people will be attending the in-person event, which is focused on the concrete action business is taking to accelerate the pathway to net zero by 2050.

CEO of the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) Gary Taylor says, “This is the first time we have partnered with the Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and Climate Leaders Coalition to deliver this event. We are delighted that partnership has taken the event, now in its 14th year, to the next level.”

“With nearly 100 international and local presenters and panellists representing business, government, policy makers, NGOs, academics, media, scientists and more, the conference is set to be a showcase event for climate action in Aotearoa.”

2022 marks a milestone year for climate action in New Zealand with the Government recently releasing its first Emissions Reduction Plan and National Adaptation Plan. The programme boasts a range of diverse speakers including Climate Change Minister James Shaw, and leader of the Opposition Christopher Luxon.

SBC Executive Director Mike Burrell says, “Business has a central role to play in decarbonising New Zealand. The 2022 Climate Change & Business Conference will provide a critical and timely platform for discussions around the concrete action business is taking to accelerate the pathway to a low emissions and climate resilient future, that is fair and equitable for all New Zealanders.”

“Importantly, it will also address the challenges ahead, and ask the hard questions about what else needs to be done by business to secure New Zealand’s zero-carbon future,” says Mr Burrell.

CLC Convenor and Spark CEO Jolie Hodson says, “This conference will be a significant opportunity for business leaders to come together to share ideas, talk frankly about the challenges ahead to build climate-resilient businesses, and support each other to deliver the climate action our stakeholders and investors are demanding.”

“It will also be an opportunity to discuss not only the enormous challenges ahead, but also the benefits that can be realised as we harness the opportunities of a zero-carbon economy.”

A key focus for event organisers has also been on walking the talk of climate action, and hosting an event centred on sustainability. That includes both certifying and quantifying emissions, as well as taking operational steps to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. 

The Ministry for the Environment is continuing its longstanding role as Foundation Sponsor for the conference.

“With the release of New Zealand’s emissions reduction plan and national adaptation plan this year, we have a lot to discuss. Top-of-mind is exploring how government and business can work together towards an economy that is more sustainable, resilient and inclusive,” says Vicky Robertson, Secretary for the Environment.

Westpac NZ is also continuing to support the event as a Foundation Sponsor.

Head of Sustainable Finance for Westpac NZ, Joanna Silver says sharing knowledge is essential to building a brighter future.

“Effective climate action is only possible with collaboration. Coming together at events like the Climate Change & Business Conference enables us all to hear innovative ideas and identify new opportunities to create collective change.”

The annual conference is New Zealand’s leading and longest-running climate change and business event.

Full programme details and a list of speakers can be found on the conference website here.

13 Sep, 2022

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