Wellington Seminar

The Next Wellington Seminar


MinterEllisonRuddWatts and the Law & Economics Association of New Zealand (LEANZ) have the pleasure of inviting you to an evening Wellington seminar by Simon Upton, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, on key findings from his latest report on climate policy – Farms, forests and fossil fuels: The next great landscape transformation?


New Zealand’s climate change targets and policies – an alternative approach


Speaker: Simon Upton, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment

Location: MinterEllisonRuddWatts, level 18, 125 The Terrace, Wellington 6140

Date: Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Time: Light refreshments from 5:30 pm for a 6:00 pm seminar start, with an opportunity for further refreshments until 7:30 pm following the conclusion of the discussion and question time at 7:00 pm.

RSVP: Eventbrite link here


About the Topic:

The Commissioner will discuss his latest report on climate policy – Farms, forests and fossil fuels: The next great landscape transformation?  The report explores a different approach to framing New Zealand’s long-term climate change targets and policies, and what that could mean for our landscapes. This alternative approach would be to treat fossil emissions separately from biological emissions and sinks. This could both help to ensure a clear focus on eliminating carbon dioxide emissions and at the same time allow agriculture and forestry to be managed in a way that combines emissions reductions with policies to achieve water, soil and biodiversity objectives.

The report made three recommendations:

  • Develop two separate targets for the second half of the century: a zero gross target for fossil emissions, and a reduction target for biological emissions based on the advice of the new Climate Commission.
  • Allow access to forest sinks as offsets only for biological emissions.
  • Develop the tools needed to manage biological sources and sinks with a landscape approach that embraces water, soil and biodiversity objectives.

As the Government has gone with a different framing of the 2050 target in the Zero Carbon Bill, the Commissioner will comment on some of the potential incentives that such an approach could create.


About the Speaker:

Simon Upton was sworn in as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for a five-year term on the 16th of October 2017.

Mr Upton is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Rhodes Scholar, with degrees in English literature, music and law from the University of Auckland, and an MLitt in political philosophy from Oxford University. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in 1999.

A Member of Parliament between 1981 and 2000, Mr Upton held a variety of Ministerial portfolios including Environment, Research, Biosecurity, Health and State Services between 1990 and 1999.

After leaving Parliament, Mr Upton moved to Paris to chair the Round Table on Sustainable Development at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  In 2005, he returned to New Zealand to pursue a number of private sector roles while continuing to chair the Round Table.

In April 2010 he returned to the OECD full-time as Environment Director, a post he held for seven years until returning to take up the role of Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.


Queries about the event can be directed to:

Diego Villalobos, diego.villalobos@comcom.govt.nz


CPD Hours:

Lawyers may note that if this seminar is part of your learning objectives in your CPDPR, then attendance at this event can count for one hour of your 10 CPD hours. Please contact a LEANZ representative at the event to confirm your attendance.