24 Sep 2020

Business leaders keen to ensure climate action stays on agenda

4:52 pm on 24 September 2020

The economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic must not be allowed to derail efforts over climate change, business leaders say.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges announced a package in May last year to encourage a widespread switch to electric cars.

Businesses are encouraged to reduce their carbon emissions as part of their commitment on climate action. Photo: 123RF

The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) has teamed up with the Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC), to press action on reaching a zero-carbon economy.

Both organisations have launched new multi-year strategies to achieve this goal, which includes climate advocacy, collaborating with central government on climate initiatives, and encouraging businesses to reduce their emissions.

Sustainable Business Council's executive director Mike Burrell said Covid-19 had shown businesses how they could unite against the existential threat of climate change.

"I suppose the only good side of Covid-19 is that it's shown us that we can mobilise very quickly, both nationally and internationally, to confront a crisis when it's on a massive scale like Covid-19 has been.

"It means we can do exactly the same thing when it comes to mobilising against climate change," Burrell said.

Z Energy CEO Mike Bennetts

Mike Bennetts Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

CLC includes more than 100 of the country's leading chief executives.

Each member pledges to take steps to reduce their individual emissions and commits to annual reporting on how they are adapting to climate change.

"Over the past two years, CLC has created the momentum for CEOs to lead the way by signing up to ambitious climate change commitments. The next phase for us will be demonstrating progress against these commitments and making even more aspirational moves to accelerate further action," said CLC convenor Mike Bennetts.

Under the new partnership, the CLC will come under the umbrella of the SBC, which would prioritise peer-to-peer learning among companies, partnering with similarly minded initiatives internationally and public relations.

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