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Carr named to chair Climate Change Commission

Tuesday 8th October 2019

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Former Reserve Bank chair Rod Carr has been appointed chair-designate of the independent Climate Change Commission.

Carr, previously chief executive of Jade Software Corporation and most recently Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury University, will take up his new role immediately. His appointment will be formalised later in the year when the commission is established with the passing of the Zero Carbon Bill.

The commission is tasked with delivering by February 2021 three carbon budgets out to 2035. It is taking up the work from the Interim Climate Change Committee, which to date has advised the government on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme and how to speed up electrification of industry and transport.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says he appointed Carr to the commission role to ensure its independence and credibility, and that it takes an analytical approach in its work.

“The commission will be crucial to keep us on track for our 2050 target and hold successive governments accountable to meet emissions budgets," he said.

“Dr Carr’s strong leadership skills, strategic vision and professional experience will be a huge asset in the commission’s establishment years.”

Carr, an economist and lawyer by training, was previously a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank. He previously served on the board of Lyttelton Port and is a current board member of ASB Bank. He left Canterbury University in January after 10 years as Vice-Chancellor.

Shaw said Carr brings many assets to his new role.

“His PhD in insurance and risk markets, alongside his experience leading the University of Canterbury through the post-earthquake recovery period, are exactly what is needed as we get to grips with the implications of sea level rise, coastal erosion, floods, fires, droughts and storms for property and community assets around the country,” Shaw said in notes for his speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference in Auckland today.

While mitigation will be an important part of the commission’s job, adaptation to the impacts of climate change already being felt around the country is rightly coming “more and more to the forefront,” he said.

In a statement, Carr said he is grateful for the opportunity to make a contribution in this “critically important” area of policy.

Everyone, he said, has the opportunity and responsibility to use their skills, experience and influence to make a better future.

“As a realistic optimist, I have confidence that with urgency, empathy, science, humility and passion we will make the world more sustainable and more inclusive.

“Much is being done but much more needs to be done, and done today.”

Carr will be joined by six other commissioners-designate. Shaw said more than 170 people had been nominated for the positions and he is still settling on his preferred selection. He expects to complete that in coming months.

(BusinessDesk)

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