Climate Change Commission Chair-designate announced

  • Hon James Shaw
Climate Change

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission.

Pending the outcome of the Select Committee and Parliamentary process, the Climate Change Commission will be established by the passing of the Zero Carbon Bill. 

“The Commission will have a critical role to help New Zealand transition to a low-emissions economy.

“As the Chairperson role will have a big impact on the success of the Commission, I have sought to appoint someone who will ensure that the Commission will be independent, analytical and credible,” James Shaw says.

“The Commission will be crucial to keep us on track for our 2050 target and hold successive governments accountable to meet emissions budgets.

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

“Dr Carr’s PhD in insurance and risk management, alongside his work leading the University of Canterbury through the earthquake recovery period, are excellent background for the incredibly important work that needs to be done in leading climate change resilience and adaptation. 

“Dr Carr and also served as Deputy Governor and Chair of the Reserve Bank, so has strong governance experience, which will be much needed as Chair of the Commission.

“I am still considering my preferred candidates for the remaining six Commissioners and hope to announce appointments to these roles in the following months,” James Shaw says.

In acknowledging the Minister’s announcement and support for his appointment as Chair-designate, Dr. Carr said:

“Each of us has the opportunity and the responsibility to use our skills and experience, our positions and power to influence to make the future better for us, for our children and for generations to come.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to make a contribution to the critically important work which is already underway.

“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, because tomorrow may be too late.”



  • The term of Dr Carr’s appointment in its Designate capacity will commence immediately and remain in place until the enactment of the Bill later this year, at which point Dr Carr will become inaugural Chair.
  • Cabinet agreed in December 2018 that we seek to ensure the Commission is fully operational for when the Bill passes.
  • The Commission will have advisory, monitoring and reporting responsibilities under the new legislation and will build on work carried out by the Interim Climate Change Committee.
  • The Interim Committee has progressed critical work on agriculture and renewable electricity generation prior to the Bill being enacted, and will continue to explore  plausible pathways for emissions reductions target(s), the analysis and evidence for which will be handed over to the Commission once the Bill is enacted.
  • Dr Carr’s formal appointment term will continue for a maximum of five years once the Commission is established.