2020 CCBC Presentations: Day One



Vicky Robertson (Secretary for the Environment, Ministry for the Environment)


International keynote: Accelerating our low-carbon future: Will this be “The Future We Choose”

“In the midst of the crisis wreaked by the pandemic is an opportunity: to ensure rescue packages don’t merely recover the high carbon economy of yesterday, but help us build a healthier economy that is low on carbon, high in resilience and centred on human wellbeing.” – Christiana Figueres

Christiana Figueres (Global leader on climate change, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2010-2016, author of “The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis”, and the 2020 Hillary Laureate)

International keynote: Responding to Covid and the broader planetary emergency: Why a Green Deal is critical

“Recent research on the ecology of diseases suggests that climate change, biodiversity loss and deforestation are contributing drivers behind pandemics, interacting with high levels of global travel, trade and high-density living.  … Like COVID-19, climate change, biodiversity loss, and financial collapse do not observe national or even physical borders. These problems can be managed only through collective action that starts long before they become full-blown crises. … No one is underestimating the incredible disruption to the global economy and across society from COVID-19 nor the gravity of the situation for those who have lost or will lose loved ones, but what this pandemic has revealed is that overnight transformational change is possible.  A different world, a different economy is suddenly dawning.” – Johan Rockström

Professor Johan Rockström (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor in Earth System Science at the University of Potsdam and co-founder of The Planetary Emergency Partnership)

Keynote: The building blocks for a better future?  Mainstreaming the UN Sustainable Development Goals into the Covid recovery

“Too often discussions on sustainability have focused on a narrow framing of environmental issues in isolation from social and economic considerations. This has been inhibitory. A much broader, holistic framing is required. Globally, this has been detailed in the United Nations Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). … Unlike many other liberal democracies that are also signatories to the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, New Zealand has not promoted them domestically, although it reports against them to the UN. The business sector and even universities, rather than the Government, have been more willing to adopt the holistic framing of the goals and report against them. It is essential these goals are taken out of hiding and given more prominence domestically. There would be significant merit in identifying desirable targets for New Zealand to adopt related to each of the 17 goals.” – Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures

Dr Anne Bardsley (Deputy Director, Koi-Tu: The Centre for Informed Futures)

Keynote: Last chance for people and planet: putting nature and ecological stewardship at the heart of the reset

Professor Nathalie Seddon (Professor of Biodiversity in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, Director of the Nature Based Solutions Initiative)

Panel – Optimising the opportunity: perspectives

SESSION 2 – Plenary: International Responses

SESSION 3 – Plenary: The New Zealand Response

The Science: Understanding the lockdown and recovery emissions impact, our 1.5degs targets, and the scale and speed with which we must act 
Professor James Renwick (Victoria University of Wellington, Climate Change Commissioner)

The Costs: Calculating climate event attribution - results from extreme events in New Zealand 
Professor Dave Frame (Victoria University of Wellington)

The Spend: locking in or locking down emissions?
Dr Rod Carr (Chair of the Climate Change Commission)

The Policy: Understanding the new regulatory landscape, closing the abatement gap, and what’s ahead
Hon James Shaw (Minister for Climate Change)

Panel Q+A – The Infrastructure Projects: future-focused or last century?

BREAKOUT SESSION 4A – Is your business Future Fit?

Imagine if all businesses had a clear picture of how they’d look and perform in a truly sustainable future. Not just to eliminate all negative impacts, but to deliver net positive value for the environment and society, as well as being profitable. Most businesses don’t have this clarity; or a strategy to get there.

In this session, delegates will be led through an interactive working session to learn about how the Future-Fit Business Benchmark enables businesses to:

  1. make sense of social and environmental pressures by defining measurable break-even performance
  2. respond effectively to systemic risks and opportunities 
  3. measure and report progress across all relevant issues in a consistent and comparable way
  4. operationalise the SDGs in a way that is relevant to their core activities.

BREAKOUT SESSION 4B – The business case for Natural Climate Solutions

In the next decade Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) can provide at least one third of the cost-effective solution to climate change. Businesses and governments globally are investing in NCS to complement reductions, meet climate targets and manage transitional risk. Businesses with nature impacts and dependencies are implementing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) which aim to have co-benefits beyond carbon mitigation to meet broader environmental and social goals.

In this session, participants will learn about NCS & NbS and what some NZ business are doing including:

* materiality and the business case
* what risks are being mitigated and benefits are provided - examples
* investment models and sustainable finance tools
* targets, disclosure & assurance frameworks

SESSION 5 – Plenary: New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment and Our Atmosphere + Climate Report 2020

New Zealand’s first national climate change risk assessment (NCCRA) has been released and will inform how New Zealand adapts to the impacts of climate change. So too will the recently released Our Atmosphere and Climate Report 2020 (OAC).

SESSION 6 – Plenary: The Corporate Climate Change Challenge

In this discussion our panellists will talk about how corporates are evolving in their responses to climate change, including:

  • the main challenges to action and drivers of change;
  • whether (or how) their businesses are thinking about climate change adaptation, or whether the focus is just on identifying and disclosing risk;
  • how often and deep is the climate discussion at executive management and Board level;
  • the impact and risks to the climate agenda from Covid-19;
  • what help is needed from others, be it government, academia, and other stakeholders.

SESSION 7 – Plenary: From international targets, domestic policy and legislative reform to litigation risk – demystifying your climate law obligations

Sponsored by Bell Gully

Our panel summarised and explored the key implications for business (including at executive management and board level) of the ‘Zero Carbon’ legislation, ETS and RMA reforms, TCFD reporting, and growing exposure to climate change-related litigation.

SESSION 8A – Redefining Transport and Travel

Sponsored by EECA

Accounting for around 20% of New Zealand’s emissions, decarbonising our land transport system is possible, necessary, and urgent.  Can this be achieved within the next 10 years as some experts suggest is required in order to meet our Paris Agreement targets? In this session, we will look at how to achieve it, including:

  • the impact of the Government’s infrastructure spending announcements
  • transitioning the light vehicle fleet to EVs (and how the Crown is tracking)
  • how to increase car occupancy and incentivise cycling
  • innovations for special purpose vehicles (eg EV freighters, trucks, tugs, ferries, forklifts, buses)
  • provisioning for charging infrastructure/range limitations, EV parking, and supportive policies (eg imposing ambitious fuel efficiency standards, feebate schemes)
  • council planning, urban design, public transport initiatives, infrastructure requirements, and the future of rail
  • retaining flexible approaches to working remotely, rotating office shifts, decentralising work hubs, etc – essentially altering staff commuting patterns and looking at new ways of working
  • reflections on the Ministry of Transport’s Green Freight - Strategic Vision 2020 working paper and the potential of green hydrogen and biofuels discussed therein

In addition to decarbonising the land transport system, we will also tackle the issue of aviation emissions.  Whilst global lockdowns have seen these temporarily plummet, what is the longer term prognosis for the aviation sector?  What is the horizon for electrifying short haul flights?  Are biofuels a solution?  What are the IATA’s fuel efficiency and emissions reductions targets?  What is the expected impact of changing travel patterns post-Covid? And how do we seek to rebuild the New Zealand tourism sector in light of all of this?

SESSION 8B – Redefining the Future of Energy

How is New Zealand placed to address the energy trilemma – security of supply, energy equity and environmental sustainability under our Zero Carbon legislation?

Among other things, our panellists will cover:

  • electricity demand modelling for the coming decade and how to achieve 100% renewable supply;
  • whether the national grid is equipped for the changes ahead;
  • the implications of Tiwai’s closure;
  • the forecast demand requirements for new renewable generation, the future energy mix and potential of wind, solar, geothermal, and what is required to enable their development;
  • how to manage dry year risk and the potential for pumped hydro;
  • the impacts of climate change on renewable generation itself, particularly hydro and wind;
  • the future for micro-grids and distributed generation and how battery technology (including storage capacity) is evolving;
  • the options for decarbonising process heat and the debates around the potential for green hydrogen, ethanol and other biofuels in our post carbon economy. Are they a genuine substitute?  And what do biofuels mean for land use change and associated consequences?

SESSION 9A – Redefining Buildings and Construction

A key focus post-Covid 19 has been on getting the construction sector back on the tools.  But what measures will shift the dial on the life cycle emissions profile of homes and other buildings in New Zealand?

In this session our panellists will discuss:

    • the importance of understanding and reducing emissions across a building’s lifecycle and the zero carbon roadmap for both new and existing buildings and homes;
    • reducing and repurposing construction & demolition waste;
    • improving water efficiency in homes and buildings;
    • the extent to which we can influence the carbon footprint of a building through the choice of building materials;
    • the use of certification schemes against which to standardise and assess performance, and the drivers of change toward the uptake of such schemes (including Government commitments and local government policies (LIMs, etc), developers, broader tenant preferences (social, environmental and economic co-benefits of low emission buildings), international trends, directors’ duties, financing green, and public perception);
    • Kainga Ora’s Sustainability Financing Framework (Wellbeing Bonds) and commitment to minimum Homestar 6 certification for new builds;
    • MBIE’s ‘Building for Climate Change’ programme and how, among other things, it needs to address the Building Code’s shortcomings to achieve our emissions reduction targets.

SESSION 9B – Reimagining New Zealand’s food system

Sponsored by KPMG

New Zealand’s terrestrial and marine food production systems face profound climate-related risks, whether the world continues on a trajectory of high greenhouse gas emissions, or abruptly decarbonises in order to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C.

This session will explore how New Zealand’s food production systems are transitioning to the low-carbon economy of our future and building resilience to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

Our panel of agri-food leaders will discuss:

  • Strategies for commercial success in a carbon constrained economy increasingly subject to the negative impacts of climate change
  • Implications of emerging domestic and international regulatory frameworks
  • Corporate governance and management of climate related risks and opportunities
  • Opportunities for collaboration between producers, innovators, science providers, iwi and government.

Last updated at 5:43PM on November 30, 2020