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International Authorities Join Environment Day

Media Release

22 May, 2008

International authorities lead NZ World Environment Day events

Two of the world's foremost authorities on managing climate change will be joined by the Prime Minister Helen Clark and New Zealand business leaders at Auckland events to mark World Environment Day on June 4.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable development leads the programme for the day with a business breakfast featuring the Executive Director of the United Nations' Environment Programme, Dr Achim Steiner, who leads the world's response to climate change.

Dr Steiner is one of the world's foremost voices on climate change and measures that business can introduce to mitigate the effects on the environment. He will be joined at the breakfast by New Zealand's Minister for Economic Development, Dr Pete Hodgson.

Dr Steiner is widely regarded as an authorative and entertaining speaker on the areas he will discuss with the Business Council. He will focus on what he believes are both the major challenges and the many opportunities available to businesses around the world as they move to reduce their impact and develop new technologies to counter climate change.

Immediately following the Business Council's business breakfast is a half-day business symposium to be opened by the Prime Minister Helen Clark and featuring Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC). Dr Steiner will also chair one of the discussion panels at the Symposium.

Among the business and Government leaders featuring on the various discussion panels are the Secretary to the Treasury, John Whitehead, and Business Council members and leaders Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier and Contact Energy CEO David Baldwin.

"This combination of politicians, business leaders and leading international figures in the climate change debate is probably the most high-powered group assembled in New Zealand to highlight and discuss answers to the hugely pressing issue of Climate Change," says Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson.

That's a sentiment echoed by the head of Victoria University's Institute of Policy Studies and the Climate Change Research Centre Dr Jonathan Boston. The Institute is the host of the Business Symposium.
"What makes this symposium so valuable is that we are talking about opportunities and answers, some of which are already being implemented, while others are on their way for businesses wanting to take hold of the momentum that is building in this crucial field.

"New Zealand leads the world into the United Nations' World Environment Day and we are fortunate, through the work of the Ministry of the Environment, and MFAT to have secured the calibre of speakers available for these two keynote events."

The Business Council's Business breakfast is at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Westhaven, at 7.30am on June 4 with the Business Symposium at the same venue immediately following the breakfast.

RSVPs for limited seats still available at these events can be e-mailed to office@nzbcsd.org.nz.

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