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Climate Leaders Coalition launches new Statement of Ambition, appoints new CEO Convenor

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Climate Leaders Coalition is tonight officially launching a new Statement of Ambition to accelerate business action on climate change.

"Just as domestic and international climate science and policy has advanced significantly since we drafted the 2017 and 2019 Statements, so must our collective level of ambition," says incoming Coalition Convenor and CEO of Spark, Jolie Hodson.

"We know the window to make meaningful action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change is closing fast. To remain credible climate leaders, we must ensure we are doing everything we can to unite New Zealand businesses and accelerate our transition towards a zero-carbon and climate resilient future, where Aotearoa, and all New Zealanders, can thrive.

"I am proud to be stepping into the Convener role to lead the transition to the new Statement of Ambition, which raises the bar on what business leadership on climate action should look like."

The new Statement builds on the 2019 Statements in several key areas:

- On mitigation, signatories must adopt short-and-long-term gross absolute science aligned emissions reduction targets for all three scopes of emissions to support the delivery of substantial reductions needed to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius;

- On adaptation, signatories must assess and publicly disclose their climate opportunities and risks (including in their value chain), as well as considering an assessment of nature-based risks;

- On transition and influence, signatories will need to plan for a just transition that avoids leaving people behind and proactively support a broader range of stakeholders to act on climate change including board members and customers; and

- To tie this all together signatories will need to embed climate action plan(s) within their businesses that address mitigation, adaptation, and transition, and incorporates te ao Māori perspectives.

"Each of our signatories face different climate challenges and meeting this new Statement will be challenging," continued Jolie. "As a Coalition, we are committed to supporting all of our signatories to meet the new Statement through a range of initiatives including monthly masterclasses, our business-to-business mentoring programme, and by sharing best practice."

The new Statement comes into effect in September 2022 and will replace the 2017 and 2019 Statements.

The Statement will be officially launched at a CEO event in Auckland this evening. The event will also be used to officially welcome the Coalition’s new CEO Convenor Jolie Hodson who replaces outgoing CEO Convenor Mike Bennetts of Z Energy. The Coalition will also welcome new appointments to the CEO Steering Group.

Outgoing CLC Convenor Mike Bennetts says, "I have acted as Convenor from the inception of the Coalition in 2018 and I am immensely proud of how far we have come. With the Coalition announcing a new Statement of Ambition, it feels like the right time for me to hand over the baton as Convenor while remaining an active member of the Steering Group."

Reflecting on the contribution Mike has made to the Coalition, Jolie says, "Mike has been the driving force behind the Coalition since its inception, working alongside the CEO Steering Group to almost double its membership and continuing to raise the bar on climate action in the business community. On behalf of the CEO Steering Group, I thank Mike for his contribution and leadership during this time.

"As I step into the Convenor role, I hope to build on this progress by continuing to encourage collective action through the Coalition’s new Statement of Ambition.

"Achieving New Zealand’s climate change objectives is a shared responsibility across the public and private sector, iwi/Māori and the community. Businesses will need to do a lot of the heavy lifting to deliver the emissions reductions we need. By uniting business leaders and their teams through the Coalition I know we can support the kind of positive, and transformative change we need in Aotearoa."

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