Wellington to Host Leading Climate Change Conference in 2011

27 January 2011

Wellington City Council is bringing the pre-eminent climate change and business conference in the Asia-Pacific region to the city in 2011.

The city will host the 7th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference on 1 - 2 August 2011 with the Council as Foundation Sponsor.

The 2010 conference in Sydney was the most important conference of its type, attracting delegates from throughout the region. It saw participation by key business leaders, politicians, academics and industry experts and presentations from the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, national and state politicians, and a wide range of industry sectors including banking, farming, forestry, investment, management, technology, transport, and energy.

Announcing the decision, Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said that after the success of the 2009 (Melbourne) and 2010 (Sydney) events, she was very pleased that the conference was being held in Wellington.

"Our city has taken a lead in preparing to adapt to likely impacts from climate change and we have been proactive in seeking to reduce Wellington's emissions in partnership with business," said Mayor Wade-Brown.

"We have combined infrastructure planning with natural planning. We will profile some of these actions at the conference and invite other innovators to do the same.

She said Wellington's compact form and abundance of renewable energy-generating potential through wind, tide and sun made it a highly appropriate venue for the conference.

"The Climate Change and Business Conference is a great opportunity to share experiences across the Asia-Pacific region. We expect senior leaders from Australasian business and politics and international and local experts to contribute to an outstanding conference program," Mayor Wade-Brown said.

The conference is a not-for-profit event. Its purpose is to provide business with the latest information and analysis to enable best-practice responses to climate change.  A key theme for this year's conference will be business opportunities arising from the emergence of clean technologies.

Conference convenor Elizabeth Edmonds, speaking from Sydney, said that there will be plenty of new content to share at this year's conference.

"Given the extreme weather events in Australia, we will be exploring whether these events can be linked to anthropogenic climate change and whether we can expect more of them. We will take a close look at how Australia and New Zealand will need to adapt to a changing environment during the 21st century and what that investment will mean for business.

"The primary focus will however be on emerging policy settings.

"We have an emissions trading scheme up and running in New Zealand which is being reviewed, with findings expected mid-year. Australia, after some false starts, is now well on the road to developing its own market instruments and progress there will be reported in full.

"Additional sessions will explain developments in international policy and will explore the full range of current and emerging complementary policies in both countries.

"The business sector wants to understand what these changes mean and how it should respond, both in managing new risks and in seeking new opportunities. The conference will provide that input in a high quality, packed two-day program and associated exhibition," Ms Edmonds concluded.

The 7th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference is organised by the Climate Change and Business Centre (Sydney) and Point Carbon (Norway), a world-leading provider of independent news and analysis of carbon markets. 

The conference is supported by an extensive range of business groups, NGOs and governments across five countries.