Cli­mate change

On Septem­ber 14 Rachel Brown, chief ex­ec­u­tive of New Zealand’s Sustainable Busi­ness Net­work, will fea­ture in a global in­ter­net multi-me­dia event led by Al Gore en­ti­tled ’24 Hours of Re­al­ity’. In­ter­view by Andy Ken­wor­thy.

Element - - Enterprise -

“[This] will con­nect the dots be­tween re­cent ex­treme weather events, in­clud­ing floods, droughts and storms, and the man-made pol­lu­tion that is chang­ing our cli­mate. We will of­fer a round

the-clock, round-the-globe snap­shot of the cli­mate cri­sis

in real time. The de­niers may have mil­lions of dol­lars to spend, but we have a pow­er­ful ad­van­tage. We

have re­al­ity.”

Al Gore on 24 hours of Re­al­ity

Andy Ken­wor­thy: Are you sur­prised at the con­tin­ued re­sis­tance to cli­mate change science in New Zealand? Rachel Brown: I am not sur­prised. Ev­ery day we are ex­posed to mis­in­for­ma­tion and mis­truths about the cli­mate cri­sis; so many peo­ple are con­fused, a bit afraid, or just don’t like change. I be­lieve that a lot of peo­ple aren’t likely to have heard the pos­i­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties this brings or about the ex­cit­ing fu­ture that is pos­si­ble. AK: Which groups is that re­sis­tance still coming from? RB: The in­ter­ests in­volved in oil and coal are very pow­er­ful and do­ing quite well out of busi­ness as usual. Why would they want peo­ple to be­lieve a change is needed? There have been naysay­ers in other tra­di­tional, non-re­new­able in­dus­tries and there are too many in our gov­ern­ment who seem yet to be con­vinced. Con­fu­sion has cer­tainly led to in­ac­tion, but over the last few months we have fi­nally started to see a shift hap­pen­ing in the ma­jor busi­ness groups. They now ac­cept the need for action and can see the risk and op­por­tu­ni­ties that nec­es­sary shift presents for busi­ness. AK: What will be the main mes­sage of the event? RB: This is all about bust­ing some of the myths that are out there and us­ing the science to sim­ply say: cli­mate change is hap­pen­ing, we need to do some­thing about it, and we can do some­thing about it. AK: What are the pos­i­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties for New Zealand in tak­ing action on cli­mate change? RB: New Zealand is a bit be­hind the eight ball at the mo­ment. In­ter­na­tion­ally gov­ern­ments are stim­u­lat­ing clean re­new­able so­lu­tions and find­ing ways to re­duce their de­pen­dence on im­ported oil. But we are let­ting things drift along as usual. I be­lieve we have a nat­u­ral ad­van­tage. By con­tin­u­ing to develop our ex­per­tise in re­new­able en­ergy we will at­tract in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses look­ing for car­bon-friendly lo­ca­tions, and our clean, green coun­try makes New Zealand re­ally at­trac­tive. To find out more go to: cli­matereal­i­typro­ject.org or sustainable.org.nz

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