EDS hold an annual Climate Change and Business Conference that is a bellwether event for climate awareness and action in NZ.

Presentations from this year’s conference are available here.

The following are my personal highlights from the sessions I attended and reflect my own interests (there were many simultaneous sessions).

The keynote sessions on the first day, however, contained a shocker – previous IPCC climate models may be seriously underestimating the amount of heating caused by carbon emissions.

This was announced by the Director of the VUWAntarctic Research Center, Prof. Tim Naish, whose presentation is here.

In view of its importance, I will do a separate post on this topic.


Tim Naish (VUW Antarctic Centre) expects that the next IPCC report will warn that BAU will lead to 6-7 C of warming this century, rather than “only” 4 C;

James Shaw said the ZCB and ETS bills are “imminent”;

Scott Simpson (National’s climate change spokesperson) performed poorly when questioned by Rod Oram, and appeared to be terrified of the farming bloc;

Sustainability Mangers from Z, Contact and Auckland City Council, plus the Watercare CEO, gave strong presentations on the need for authentic corporate cultural change and to avoid any hint of greenwash.


Anne Smith, Environmark:
We can’t adapt our way out of this; the order of priority for business has to be Measure, then Reduce, and finally, Adapt; there is only one measure of success – a reduction of GHG in the atmosphere.

Sean Weaver, Ekos:
We need climate resilient landscapes; farmers are much more at risk of suicide than urban climate activists; permanent forest sinks are better than than production forests, but economics dictates a mixture of native and exotics, e.g. eucalypts.

Tourism (various speakers):
Tourism = “travel without purpose”; cruising is 3x more damaging to the climate than flying; the average tourist to NZ travels 13,000 km; climate change is destroying tourist industry assets, e.g the Bahamas; “flight shame” is on the rise;

Climate change is also a cultural crisis, so narrative is key; Boeing has 8 years of production in back orders alone; domestic tourism = 40% of the $40 billion NZ tourism industry; annual visitors to NZ = 3.9M; annual Kiwi outward travel = 3.1M;

Jacinta Ardern, PM: Climate change is not going away and, although she’s proud of what the coalition government has and will achieve, there is more to do.