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New Zealand to Address Global Climate Challenges with Tech

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New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission has teamed up with a group of international climate experts to bring global climate action to fruition. During the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the International Climate Councils Network (ICCN) was established. According to the Chair of the Climate Change Commission, the organisation will ensure that information, knowledge and skills are shared internationally and that governments collaborate to confront a global problem.

“Global climate action requires global collaboration. This network will mean we are all singing from the same song sheet as we advise Governments on what steps to take to address climate change and take action,” he says.

Combined efforts between key international players means we can learn from and contribute to new knowledge and technologies to ensure a global reduction in emissions

– New Zealand Climate Change Commission

The network consists of 18 major climate advisory organisations that provide governments with independent, expert advice. Together, the countries account for 10% of world emissions. The network aims to promote collaboration among Climate Councils and to guide global climate change mitigation and adaptation activities to help the Paris Agreement be implemented.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced on the eve of the United Nations climate conference in Glasglow that New Zealand will significantly increase its contribution to the global effort to combat climate change by reducing net greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2030.

Each country chooses an international target known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. This document outlines the country’s contribution to the Paris Agreement’s aims. The new NDC which was released sets a goal of reducing net emissions by 50% below gross 2005 levels by 2030. Using what is known as an ’emissions budget’ technique, this translates to a 41% reduction from 2005 levels.

New Zealand’s new NDC is in line with the independent Climate Change Commission’s recommendations and will contribute significantly to international efforts to fulfil the Paris Agreement objective of reducing global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

In addition, New Zealand’s increased commitment to the global effort to combat climate change now constitutes our fair share, and it is in line with what is required if the country is to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Climate change is a government priority since it poses a threat to the economy, the environment, and people’s daily lives.

Moreover, New Zealand scientists and researchers are being urged to apply artificial intelligence to address environmental issues. TAIAO (Time-Evolving Data Science / Artificial Intelligence for Advanced Open Environmental Science) is a platform that brings together massive data sets collected in real-time from New Zealand’s environment and makes them available to researchers and scientists on a single platform. Professor Karin Bryan, director of the University of Waikato Environmental Research Institute, believes TAIAO will revolutionise the way scientists and communities approach challenges like climate change and environmental management in the future.

The platform would enable researchers to invent different machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms that could deal with large data sets in real-time and then make the data available to anyone who needed it.

Another growing sector that the government regards as critical to achieving the government’s environmental and economic goals is cleantech. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the government’s commitment to establishing an energy development centre in Taranaki, which will help the country transition to cleaner, more affordable, and renewable energy.

OpenGov Asia reported new technologies will help the country meet its carbon targets and build a high-value export sector while also creating jobs. More investment was required to commercialise some of the emerging technology to achieve this. The partnership would develop a five-year roadmap to attract investment, strengthen local and global networks, scope new initiatives, and develop clusters of cleantech businesses.

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