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NZBCSD Climate Change Project (Includes Q&A)


Press Release

NZBCSD Climate Change Project

For release Wednesday 12th December, embargoed for publication until 12am Thursday 13th December

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) will launch their climate change project today. The project is being co-sponsored by the Ministry for Economic Development (MED). It will explore the business opportunities that are likely to arise out of a carbon constrained economy and greenhouse policies and measures and assist business to understand and minimise their greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is being launched by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Development, Hon. Jim Anderton, the Convenor of the Ministerial Climate Change Steering Group, Hon. Pete Hodgson and NZBCSD Executive Director, Dr Rodger Spiller on behalf of NZBCSD Chairman, Stephen Tindall at a Carbon Forum event in Wellington.

The NZBCSD is a coalition of 38 leading businesses united by a shared commitment to sustainable development and supportive of measures to combat climate change.

NZBCSD Chairman, Stephen Tindall says “The NZBCSD believes that business has a crucial role to play in New Zealand meeting its climate change obligations and developing solutions to reduce the actual and potential effects of climate change. We have accepted this responsibility by partnering with Government on this project. NZBCSD members are committed to economic, environmental and social sustainability and we support the management of greenhouse gas emissions. We appreciate the government’s willingness to work with business to find win-win solutions to the challenge of climate change.”

“While the exact legislative framework is unclear, it is highly likely that business will within the next few years be operating in a country with tighter constraints on emissions of greenhouse gases, energy use and generation. It therefore makes good business sense to identify business opportunities that are likely to arise out of these developments; and understand and work to minimize our greenhouse gas emissions footprint as early as possible. Our project is designed to stimulate these activities because they represent intelligent entrepreneurship, operational efficiency, responsible risk management, and good corporate citizenship,” Tindall said.

“Climate change is an important global issue that requires an effective global response. The Kyoto Protocol is a major part of the current global response and must therefore be taken seriously by New Zealand. For business to succeed in its role as a solution provider its needs must be taken into account. Business requires an effective long-term framework in which to operate and the Kyoto Protocol contains the seeds of this. The key for domestic policy relating to climate change is to establish a raft of policies and measures that recognise our unusual greenhouse inventory and stimulate the behavioural and process changes required to address the issue, at a pace that optimises business opportunities within the new sustainable development paradigm, whilst minimising casualties.”

“The NZBCSD is committed to working through the issues with the Government and assisting the policy development process to ensure the best solution for New Zealand and the global environment. Our partnership with the Government on this project demonstrates this commitment,“ Tindall said.

For further information visit the NZBCSD website at www.nzbcsd.org.nz and/or contact Dr Rodger Spiller, Executive Director NZBCSD. Ph: 09 529 0678 or 021 679 779

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is the NZBCSD position on the Kyoto Protocol?

A. NZBCSD agree:
- With the objectives of the Protocol
- That a global solution is required
- With the Protocol’s approach of using market based mechanisms to deliver the least cost solutions
- That NZ should respond in an “appropriate” fashion
- That a well informed, national debate is required around what “appropriate” is

Business has a crucial role to play in developing solutions to climate change and deploying them globally. Realising this potential will require an effective long-term framework in which to operate. The protocol contains the seeds of such a framework that can, and should, be built upon. Developing an effective framework for truly sustainable development will require continuing diplomatic effort to achieve greater alignment and liberate the potential of the global market place including the USA and developing countries.

The WBCSD's business case emphasizes the role of markets because sustainable development is best achieved through markets that are fair, competitive, open, and global. Such markets encourage innovation and eco-efficiency, both of which are essential for sustainable human progress. Increasingly, markets - local, national, global - must capitalize on new partnerships between business and others, providing consumer choice as they do so.

Q. What does the NZBCSD think of the proposed timing for ratification of Kyoto?

A.
- The crucial thing for business (and other sectors) is to understand how ratification will impact on their operations.
- The policy mix developed to meet the Kyoto obligation will have a very significant effect on what the business impacts are.
- We believe that more collaborative work needs to be done in this area.
- We are committed to working with government and other businesses to understand these impacts and develop the optimal responses.
- We support analysis of the risks and benefits, and strongly promote he urgency of finding ways to minimise the risks and enhance the benefits, i.e. “no regrets” or “win-win” policies such as greatly increased energy efficiency.
- We must find a transitional process that moves us at a pace that optimises business opportunities in the new sustainable development paradigm, and minimises casualties.
- We believe that this work should be furthered as quickly as possible.


Q. What about the argument that the environment is something we ought not to focus on until economic performance is improved?

- Many business people are still in the mindset that we’ve got to be in the black before we can be green, rather than the view that being green will get us in the black and being ungreen will certainly keep us in the red!

ENDS

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