Rod Oram notes a growing mood among New Zealand business leaders for any new Government to create a climate commission. Those calling for change include Air New Zealand's Christopher Luxon and Sir Rob Fenwick.
Last Wednesday week, Air New Zealand laid on a big breakfast for 400 business people – enough to fill more than one of its Dreamliners – at the cavernous Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.
The event – longer than a flight to Wellington and back – was not to celebrate a new aircraft, bumper profits or other conventional business milestone. It was for the launch of the airline’s 2017 sustainability report.
Christopher Luxon, its chief executive, told the audience the company had its priorities right.
“Two years ago, I launched Air New Zealand’s sustainability framework to supercharge Air New Zealand’s success -- socially, economically and environmentally.”
Given aircraft burn prodigious quantities of climate-changing fossil fuels, that could seem an oxymoron. Yet, member nations of the International Civil Aviation Organization, a UN body, committed last year to phasing in carbon neutral growth of their activities from 2020.
That means their airlines will continue to grow, but net emissions from aircraft will be flat, thanks to fuel efficiencies, carbon offsets from the likes of forest plantings and, ultimately, technology breakthroughs such as synthetic fuels and hybrid and electric planes.
This is the sort of radical change that our Productivity Commission is investigating in its inquiry into New Zealand’s transformation to a low-emissions economy. In its issues paper released in August it says:
“…the shift from the old economy to a new, low-emissions economy will be profound and widespread, transforming land use, the energy system, production methods and technology, regulatory frameworks and institutions, and business and political culture.”
So far, the Commission has received more than 120 submissions from interested parties. Many from mainstream businesses call for bold and co-ordinated policies from government to help them play their part in a more sustainable economy over the next couple of decades.
| Continue to the full article published on Newsroom || October 15, 2017 |||