James Russell Element editor
The NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards last week was, once again, a truly inspiring evening of learning about New Zealand’s most eco-friendly and socially conscious enterprises.
It demonstrates each year that commerce and caring for the planet and its inhabitants need not be mutually exclusive.
The awards came hard on the heels of the China-US climate change agreement announced at the G20 Summit in Australia, which will see China’s emissions peak by 2030 while US emissions will fall by up to 28%.
The significance of the announcement coming during the G20 Summit – a gathering designed not for discussing climate change issues but rather economic growth – signals that the two issues cannot be separated. Indeed neo-liberal politics, free-trade agreements and global trade organisations have done much to scupper climate change policy, so for Barack Obama to insist that it be raised at such a gathering is hugely encouraging.
Meanwhile John Key is in danger of being put into the bad boy corner with Aussie Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for his woeful record of inaction on climate change and the disabling of our emissions trading scheme. He certainly won’t have anything to boast about during his next round of golf with the US President.