It’s time to turn climate ambition into action

24 Nov 2021
SOURCE:
Sustainable Business Council and Climate Leaders Coalition

The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and the Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC) are making a series of recommendations for urgent and bold action in their response to the Government’s Emission Reduction Plan (ERP) discussion document.

The joint response represents the views of over 150 businesses that contribute more than a third of New Zealand’s GDP and are committed to the country’s low-emissions future.

"This first Emissions Reduction Plan is our opportunity to get New Zealand on track to meet our emissions budgets and targets," says Sustainable Business Council Executive Director Mike Burrell.

"New Zealand has a lot of catching up to do to bend the emissions curve in the short time we have left. Urgent action is required to convert our country’s climate ambition into concrete action. While our recommendations go some way to bridge the emissions gap in the ERP discussion document, collaboration between business and Government will be essential to closing the gap that still remains."

The response's key recommendations outline the projected contribution to emissions reductions, and include:

  • working in a more aligned way to be more ambitious on freight decarbonisation
  • creating an effective pathway for transitioning the light vehicle fleet
  • eliminating fossil fuels from industrial heat processes and supporting a broader range of businesses to convert
  • developing a step-change in our approach to agricultural R&D, and
  • ensuring we are achieving a fair and inclusive transition with equity, and people, at its heart.

SBC and CLC members are already working together on business-led solutions to drive down emissions across a range of areas. This includes bringing together some of New Zealand’s leading primary sector companies to create a plan for a step change in private and public investment and international partnerships to accelerate the R&D and adoption of biogenic methane technologies.

"Businesses recognise climate change is the defining challenge of our time, we are responding to it as the crisis that it is and are calling on Government to do the same. That means working together in lockstep to deliver a transition through collaboration on a scale we have never seen before," says CLC convenor and Z Chief Executive Mike Bennetts.

"We are at a critical moment as a nation, a moment that requires decisive and urgent action, at a scale and pace that will meet the challenging transition task ahead."

SBC and CLC are also calling for cross-party support on the emissions budgets. Locking in our emissions reduction trajectory that is agreed across parliament, will give businesses the certainty they need to make investment decisions that are consistent with a low-emissions future.

"We remain confident that by working together we can meet the enormous challenge ahead by matching our bold ambition with bold action."

Read SBC and CLC’s joint response to the Emissions Reduction Plan discussion document, Te hau mārohi ki anamata | Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future.