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Climate Change and Business Conference report

The twin challenges of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent disastrous levels of climate change and dealing with the impacts that are now unavoidable dominated discussion on day two of the Climate Change and Business Conference.

From the challenges of developing the rule book to put the Paris Agreement into action, to the future of carbon prices at home and abroad (New Zealand carbon is at the record price of $25.25, while the price of European carbon has gone up 300 per cent in a year), businesses said they were having to make investment decisions amid a good deal of uncertainty.

OM Financial’s head of financial markets, Nigel Brunel, said that while he had been bullish about carbon for a long time, prices could collapse again if the countries signed up to the Paris Agreement fail to put it into action.

Different views on how much New Zealand’s farming sector needs to reduce methane emissions dominated a discussion on the agricultural sector. Agricultural emissions make up nearly half New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and most of it is methane from the digestive process of ruminant animals.

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