Possibility of a Pew Branch Office in South Pacifi
NEW ZEALAND OFFICIALS, BUSINESS LEADERS DISCUSS CLIMATE STRATEGIES WITH PEW CENTER ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
Explore Possibility of a Pew Branch Office in South Pacific
Washington, DC - A delegation of government and business leaders from New Zealand will meet with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change on Friday to discuss strategies for addressing climate change and to explore the possibility of establishing a Pew Center office serving the South Pacific region.
The delegation, led by the Honorable Pete Hodgson, Minister of Energy and Convener of New Zealand's Ministerial Group on Climate Change, is on a fact-finding tour to the United States and Europe to learn about government and business efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The group's findings will contribute to the development of climate change policies and programs in New Zealand.
In a meeting at Pew's Arlington, Virginia headquarters, Pew Center President Eileen Claussen will describe climate-related developments in the United States, including legislation before Congress and the growing number of state-level programs contributing to greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Representatives of several major companies that work with the Pew Center will describe strategies they are implementing to reduce emissions cost-effectively.
In addition, Claussen will advise the delegation that the Pew Center has begun exploring the possibility of establishing field offices in key regions, including one in the South Pacific. The offices would work with policymakers and business leaders in those regions to promote effective, market-based climate policies and to build support for an international climate agreement that includes all major emitting countries.
"The Pew Center has been very successful in mobilizing strong business support for sound climate policies in the United States. We've heard from colleagues around the world, including many in the South Pacific, that they would welcome a similar effort and a similar voice in their regions," Claussen said. "Ultimately, meeting the challenge of climate change requires a global effort, and that in turn requires compatible national approaches. We feel a Pew presence in key regions can help achieve those goals."
Claussen said the idea of a Pew Center office in the South Pacific was first raised with her by business and government leaders when she visited Australia last year and New Zealand last May. She said that, if established, the office would focus largely on climate-related concerns in New Zealand, Australia and Pacific island countries. Supporters of the idea have established a trust to help fund the operation and have secured commitments of seed money, including US$25,000 from the Tindall Foundation in New Zealand.
Claussen said the Center is also exploring the possibility of branch offices in Europe and Asia. She emphasized that the establishment of any new office depends on Pew's ability to secure additional sources of independent funding. The Center accepts no government or corporate funding. The prospect of a Pew Center office in the South Pacific region has been welcomed by several New Zealand business leaders.
Stephen Tindall, chairman of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and founder of both the Warehouse and the Tindall Foundation, said a number of New Zealand business leaders have discovered that there are significant business opportunities in addressing climate change. "An organization such as the Pew Center would be invaluable in helping New Zealand businesses to capture those opportunities and minimize their risks," Tindall said.
Ralph Waters, chief executive of Fletcher Building, said he would support the initiative. "I think the more business can be involved in working with both government and with reputable non-government organizations like Pew, the better," Waters said. "Climate change is complex and a think tank like Pew that is prepared to work constructively with business can only help."
Support was also voiced by BP, already a member of the Pew Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council. "A Pew presence in the South Pacific would provide a valuable independent voice on climate change focused on issues specific to our part of the world," said BP New Zealand Managing Director Peter Griffiths.
Established in 1998 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pew Center is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing credible information, analysis, and policy advice in the effort to address global climate change. The Center publishes peer-reviewed reports on climate science, economics and policy, and holds workshops and conferences to facilitate dialogue among business, government, and non-governmental organizations.
The Center's Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) includes 38 major corporations committed to addressing climate change. The companies demonstrate leadership by investing in climate-friendly technologies and taking action to reduce their emissions, and they support market-based government policies to achieve cost-effective emission reduction. In a recent advertisement in the Washington Post and other publications, BELC members called for a national climate strategy in the United States that couples mandatory emission reductions with flexible, market-based approaches.
Additional information on the Pew Center and the BELC is available at www.pewclimate.org.
The Pew Center was established in May 1998 by The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the United States' largest philanthropies and an influential voice in efforts to improve the quality of the environment. The Pew Center is an independent, nonprofit, and non-partisan organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. The Pew Center is led by Eileen Claussen, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.