zero carbon

9 May 2019 Kate Palmer

Carole Smith, Director Environment 

“This is landmark announcement that is tackling the issue of climate change head on. It creates an imperative for action that provides an opportunity for dynamic change at all levels and shares responsibility across government, business and society.

Achieving the emission reduction targets will be challenging and requires collaboration across all sectors of New Zealand, but it is achievable.  WSP Opus, both in New Zealand and globally, is working with central and local governments to better understand the effects climate change risks have within the natural and built environments and infrastructure sectors. We believe that through careful consideration of the cross-cutting nature of risks, and trade-offs between the actions that we take, it is possible to achieve effective adaptation outcomes.”In our experience climate change solutions require new ways of thinking and significant engagement from wider society.  As well as innovative technology and benchmarking tools to demonstrate credibility in this space we have purposely developed a team to include behavioural scientists and policy planners in recognition that changes in technology are not the only way that we need to address this issue.”

Environment

Rowan Dixon, Principal Professional Sustainability & Resilience 

WSP Opus congratulates the government on this significant achievement. Long-term, cross party policy of this nature that future proofs our communities and generations to come is important and complex. These targets are achievable, they’ll guide us through the coming de-carbonisation challenges and we’ll be happier and healthier for it. Setting achievable carbon budgets across our economy and delivering against them is the next challenge. WSP Opus are global leaders in low-carbon innovation and has a proud heritage of delivering future ready solutions for communities. Our working partnership with the Climate Change Commission in the United Kingdom is delivering significant low-carbon and climate resilient outcomes for those communities.  This experience is already benefitting our journey here as we work with local leaders to proactively pull carbon emissions out of their value chains and business models. 

Agriculture

Anne-Maree Jolly, Rural Environmental Consultant 

“There is no doubt that our agriculture industry has a challenging time ahead in the environmental space – and the targets set out in the Zero Carbon Bill speak to this - but this also creates an opportunity for the sector to take a different approach.
At present the simplest tool we have in reducing greenhouse gas – such as biogenic methane - and on-farm nutrient losses is land use change .   We’re excited about the results this is delivering for our farming clients, where they are successfully reducing the on-farm environmental footprint while maintaining profitability and meeting growing local and global consumer demand for safe, reliable and nutritious food .” 

Electricity

Nigel Matuschka, Director Power (Acting) 

“This is outstanding news that will help drive new build power generation projects in New Zealand, which already is a world-leader in clean, renewable energy.
Electrification will significantly decarbonise the New Zealand economy. The biggest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is in electrifying the parts of the economy that are currently reliant on fossil fuels – particularly stationary industrial energy and our transport fleets.
The biggest challenge for our clients is to ensure that New Zealand’s electricity generation can meet the projected demand, which is estimated to increase from 25% in 2016 to 61% by 2050 .” 

Property and Buildings

Graham Gilleberg, Senior Sustainability Consultant

“We have extensive firsthand experience of how net zero carbon legislation put in place in the UK over 10 years ago was a strong driver for industry change and how quickly what seemed difficult or impossible became business as usual. Learning experiences soon translate to cost savings, and to opportunities for productivity gains and business efficiencies. Without legislation driving that change and driving it rapidly, the learning curve can be long and painful.
As well as the obvious environmental benefits there are numerous incidental knock on effects that come with heightened awareness of sustainability. Saving energy leads to thinking around resource efficiency and recycling, which leads to thinking around water saving which leads to thinking around transport efficiencies, good indoor environment quality and so on. The ripple effect of this one piece of legislation will have far reaching effects, but the benefits are not only environmental. They will also be reflected in reduced capital and operational costs and increased productivity from better health and happiness and quality of life. Smaller, energy efficient and more enjoyable, comfortable buildings, fewer cars on the roads, improved public transport and cyclist facilities, de-emphasis on city centre working and the associated commute, better green spaces and corridors, better social inclusion.”