It was with great pride that we became signatories of the Climate Leaders’ Coalition in July of this year, joining forces with 60 other like-minded businesses from across New Zealand to work towards changing behaviours in the workplace, and everyday life, in order to reach a collective goal of reducing New Zealand’s emissions and ultimately a cleaner, greener New Zealand.
But is it possible for the rest of New Zealand and the New Zealand government to take action and change a long-standing mindset? To support a low emissions economy where people still prosper? The Productivity Commission thinks so. Yesterday, they released their Low Emissions Economy Report outlining a number of recommendations as to how government can implement and possibly achieve just that - a lower emissions economy.
According to the report, this is something that needs to happen sooner rather than later, and if we don’t move fast, New Zealand runs the risk of remaining in its current status quo – one that is not sustainable, and is costly to the government.
The report found that there were three key actions that need to take place in order for us to attain a lower emissions economy:
• Stop burning fossil fuels and switch to electricity and other low emission energy sources. Here at 4Sight we quantify our emission intensity as we grow, and have already started transitioning our 4Sight fleet vehicles to electric ones.
• Undertake substantial levels of afforestation a.k.a plant more trees. An interesting (and slightly out-of-the-box) afforestation project we are currently working on is the Hundertwasser Arts Centre Living Roof. Click here to read more.
• Make changes to the way we farm our land. We agree! We are mindful of this in the projects we are working on in the rural sector.
So where to from here? The government needs to form a robust and thorough climate change framework, modify the current Emissions Trading Scheme and throw as many resources as they can into the development of lower emissions initiatives. There’s a lot to be done, considering New Zealand has also committed to its first “Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce its emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030” (according to the Low Emissions Economy Report).
We’re all for making it a reality though and if you’re interested in what we are doing to take action against climate change, check out our commitments page here. We would also highly recommend you check out the Low Emissions Economy Report (all 620 pages of it!), or if you’re short on time, head over to the Productivity Commission website where there is an overview of the report, plus a video highlighting its crucial messages. If you’re interested in finding out more on the Climate Leaders Coalition, visit their website www.climateleaderscoalition.org.nz and see how you can become a member too.
This is close to our hearts here at 4Sight, as we are founded on ensuring better outcomes for land, water and people, and it will take all of us to make this happen. Our final thoughts - if we sustain our land and water, our people will thrive.