Element - - Climate Change -

As if we needed an­other re­minder that we live in a volatile, un­cer­tain, com­plex and am­bigu­ous world. With Paris deep in our thoughts ter­ror­ism may be the most top­i­cal global is­sue – yet cli­mate change is the ul­ti­mate se­cu­rity threat and one that calls for greater re­solve for in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion.

Our Gov­ern­ment’s fu­ture com­mu­ni­ca­tions around a low-car­bon fu­ture should clearly out­line the cost of in­ac­tion, cham­pion the eco­nomic ad­van­tages and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits of green growth, and plot a course to­wards achiev­ing es­tab­lished, science-based emis­sions re­duc­tion goals.

A mas­sive, world­wide green econ­omy is gath­er­ing speed and New Zealand has an op­por­tu­nity to be at the fore­front. Just as we were bold in gain­ing our seat at the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil we must again be bold and com­mit­ted at COP21.

For New Zealand, there are ma­te­rial up­side op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able from tak­ing a lead­ing po­si­tion on build­ing a smart green econ­omy that has our val­ues at its core. How­ever, the mes­sage must be clear that en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity and eco­nomic growth are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive.

When New Zealan­ders fully understand the fact that en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity can and does catal­yse eco­nomic growth, we will be bet­ter po­si­tioned to pursue op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate wealth and skilled jobs while si­mul­ta­ne­ously conserving our nat­u­ral re­sources and im­prov­ing our en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance.

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