sign uplog in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

A group of 60 NZ CEOs have joined forces 'to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy'

A group of 60 NZ CEOs have joined forces 'to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy'

A group of 60 businesses that are said to make up between them nearly 50% New Zealand’s emissions have joined forces to tackle the issue of climate change.

The group of 60 CEOs have formed the Climate Leaders Coalition, "recognising the role that business can play in bringing about change and signing a joint statement, which commits their companies to action".

The goal of the new group - which includes Z, Westpac, BNZ, Ngai Tahu Holdings, Vector, Air New Zealand, Spark and NZ Post - is to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy and, in doing so, create a positive future for New Zealanders, business, and the economy.

The CEOs have signed a Climate Change Statement. This is that statement:

For the generations after us, for the country we love, for the viability of our businesses, we are ambitious for action on climate change.  If we act now we can forge a path to create a future that is low-emission, positive for our businesses and economy, and inclusive for all New Zealanders.  We are committed to playing our part to make that future real.  If we don’t, our competitiveness is at risk. 

We take climate change seriously in our business:

  • We measure our greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report on them
  • We set a public emissions reduction target consistent with keeping within 2° of warming
  • We work with our suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

We believe the transition to a low emissions economy is an opportunity to improve New Zealand’s prosperity:

  • We support the Paris Agreement & New Zealand’s commitment to it
  • We support introduction of a climate commission and carbon budgets enshrined in law

By signing the CEO Climate Change Statement, each of the business leaders have committed to measuring and reporting their greenhouse gas emissions and working with suppliers to reduce emissions, with the aim of helping to keep global warming within two degrees, as specified in the Paris Agreement.

Convenor of the Climate Leaders Coalition and "leading the collective commitment by business to drive the transition to a low emissions economy" is Z Energy CEO, Mike Bennetts.

“I knew that many businesses were making progress with their own company’s response to climate change but that still left a gap around what we could be doing more of together to increase the pace and scale of impact from our collective efforts," he said. 

"So, it made sense to discuss those opportunities and commit to further action. At the very least that is a common commitment that we can all be held accountable for and provides other businesses with the confidence to lean into their own responses knowing they are not alone in doing that."

The Acting CEO of Westpac Karen Silk said when businesses united around a central goal, it creates real momentum to change.

"One of the things that binds all of our organisations together is a love for our country and a desire to make it a great place to live - for us and for future generations.

“By working together on a future that is focussed on low emissions, and sustainable innovation and practices, we can all play our part towards improving the country’s prosperity and to continuing to make it a desirable place to live.”

The CEOs involved are now calling for other leaders to join them.

Mike Sang, Chief Executive, Ngai Tahu Holdings, said: “Ngāi Tahu Holdings is pleased to join other like-minded organisations in working to tackle climate change. We are committed to the journey of adopting increasingly sustainable business practices across our businesses, in line with our tribal whakataukī – “Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei” – for us and our children after us. This is something we all need to do together, and we encourage others to join.”

Business owners looking to commit to action on climate change and play their part in the transition to a low emissions economy can find out more about the CEO Climate Change Statement, by visiting

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Keep tilting at the windmills. After 30 odd years of satellite data - "Southern Hemisphere.: +0.04 C above seasonal average". Run for the hills.

60 companies with too much time on their hands.

Global climate trend since Dec. 1 1978: +0.13 C per decade

Global composite temp.: +0.21 C (+0.38 °F) above seasonal average
Northern Hemisphere.: +0.38 C (+0.68 °F) above seasonal average
Southern Hemisphere.: +0.04 C (+0.07 °F) above seasonal average
Tropics.: +0.12 C (+0.22 °F) above seasonal average

Don't cherry pick.
And (negative) period variance isn't an argument to put your head in the sand.

It was supposed to be runaway global warming. Why isn’t half of the planet warming not warming as predicted?
Why is the warming rate over the past 30 years lower (0.13/dec) than 0.15/dec in 1910 to 1940? If we had runaway global warming - as opposed to typical inter glacial warming - wouldn’t you expect the warming rate to be faster?
NZ business changing the global climate - give me a break.

Why is the warming rate over the past 30 years lower (0.13/dec) than 0.15/dec in 1910 to 1940?

Think of what you are comparing here.
30 years of (modern) remote sensing data against 30 years of poorly spatially distributed surface temperature readings.
Also, refer simonp's comment below.

There is plenty of proxy data which demonstrates faster warming rates in the past. There is no evidence that warming is happening faster today - let alone accelerating as was predicted. The runaway global warming hypothesis is weak at best.

Even if you choose to ignore 1910 to 1940 why is the Southern Hemisphere not warming at all. Remember it was predicted to be global not regional warming.

There is plenty of proxy data which demonstrates faster warming rates in the past.

Yes. That great argument for accuracy - we can use proxies to estimate.

...why is the Southern Hemisphere not warming at all

Ahh, because the earth is not completely homogenous in its distribution of weather patterns, factor endowments and carbon release or sequestration... Is that not evident?

If you are going to argue, at least have some knowledge on the subject.
You remind me of those people who think that because it snowed last week, global warming must be a con.

A 30 year global dataset is not like someone who told you it snowed last week. Try harder. You really think the head of UEA CRU would have quoted 0.15/dec if he wasn’t confident of it’s accuracy? Added to that antro CO2 emission pre WW2 was about 1/7 of what it is today yet it was warming faster than today.

Are you Trump's next appointment for EPA chief?
You certainly sound like you have the requisite skills.

Satellites measure lower troposphere radiance, not surface temperatures.
Land mass air temperatures rise proportionally faster than over the ocean. There is more land mass in the northern hemisphere.
Stop cherry-picking. No rational person denies that anthropogenic global warming is happening.

The satellite dataset is the only global one we have. You know the land database is woeful and certainly not global.

“The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth's atmosphere, and is also where nearly all weather conditions take place. It contains approximately 75% of the atmosphere's mass and 99% of the total mass of water vapor and aerosols.”

We live on the surface, not 2km up in the atmosphere.
Surface thermometer records can be homogenised and stretch back far further than satellite data.
Satellite radiance proxies have to be calibrated with actual thermometer readings and corrected for satellite drift.

Yes the satellite dataset is calibrated with weather balloons and corrected for drift.

The surface record is homogenised and massive areas infilled - like areas the size of Brazil for instance. Note the bit that states “grey areas represent missing data”. With that much in filling can hardly claim to be global when compared to a satellite dataset.

Edit from UAH:

“thermometers cannot measure global averages — only satellites can. The satellite instruments measure nearly every cubic kilometer – hell, every cubic inch — of the lower atmosphere on a daily basis. You can travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers without finding a thermometer nearby.

Satellite microwave radiometers, however, are equipped with laboratory-calibrated platinum resistance thermometers, which have demonstrated stability to thousandths of a degree over many years, and which are used to continuously calibrate the satellite instruments once every 8 seconds. The satellite measurements still have residual calibration effects that must be adjusted for, but these are usually on the order of hundredths of a degree, rather than tenths or whole degrees in the case of ground-based thermometers.”

Venus awaits for those wanting a hot C02 acid bath. One way tickets going cheap. Say hi to Donald & the Kock (sic) brothers when you get there....

Wow Fonterra is in there, green cows anyone?

Fonterra know it is importation to their branding. The snr team at FLeachers have no such clue.

They have no interest in climate change...I know this from some who have tried.

1) "We set a public emissions reduction target consistent with keeping within 2° of warming" - fine as long as the government does not set a date (like 2050). The least cost path for NZ is to allow NZ carbon to price at the international carbon price (or proxies thereof)

2) "We support the Paris Agreement & New Zealand’s commitment to it" - NZ's long term commitments are a hard ask if we include all emissions. Either we find a methane vaccine for the cows or we diversify away from farming with a corresponding drop in the NZD needed so that we can find other areas of comparative advantage.

3) "We support introduction of a climate commission and carbon budgets enshrined in law" - same answer as for 1). No fixed date to zero carbon and use the international carbon price as the least cost pathway.