Just Transition Summit to spark vital conversation

The inaugural Just Transition Summit to be held in Taranaki in May will be a chance for businesses, workers, Māori, youth and communities to have their say on New Zealand’s pathway to a low emissions economy, Minister of Energy and Resources Dr Megan Woods and New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom say.

Registrations for the Summit, which features high profile international speakers and will be held at TSB Stadium in New Plymouth on 9-10 May 2019, are open now.

“A successful and prosperous transition to a low emissions economy will take time and require a collaborative effort from all New Zealanders,” Megan Woods says.

“Achieving a just transition – one that is fair, equitable and inclusive ­– is a government priority. It will be an ongoing and evolving process and we all have an important role to play in working towards it together.

“The Summit will be an opportunity to progress the co-creation process and continue the conversation about what a just transition to a low emissions economy is and what it looks like for New Zealand. The government is already working with the Taranaki region on this and the Summit is an opportunity to showcase this important work.” 

To successfully transition to a low emissions economy, we’re going to need a level of planning, investment and collaboration between Central Government and industry not seen since the Think Big era, says Neil Holdom, the Mayor of the New Plymouth District. 

“Taranaki is at the forefront of the Just Transition, and it’s entirely appropriate to be kicking off these conversations here in our region, showcasing the work we’ve already got underway through our economic development strategy Tapuae Roa and the subsequent focus on retention of high value employment and wealth creation opportunities within the region.

“When we talk about a Just Transition, we’re talking about a fundamental change in the way we power our economy. Taranaki is the perfect region to lead from the front, given our decades of history with the energy sector and the knowledge, skills and expertise we’ve developed,” says Neil Holdom. 

The Summit programme features exciting local and international speakers and has been designed to provide practical information and inspiration that attendees can use to start making their own changes as we move towards a low carbon future. It will be highly interactive with panel discussions and workshops, and opportunities for all parties to contribute their own input and ideas.  

“I am really pleased with the programme and the calibre of speakers we have confirmed so far, who will be able to provide insights and information from a range of perspectives,” Megan Woods says. 

“We’ll be making more announcements about other speakers soon.” 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Midnight Oil musician, environmentalist and former Australian Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett;
  • Doughnut Economics author Kate Raworth, who will speak about the economics of climate change;
  • sustainability, business and innovation expert Peter Bryant who will look at how technology can help us solve the emissions challenge; and
  • Director of the Brussels-based Just Transition Centre Samantha Smith, who will discuss the future of work and how businesses are changing the models to meet sustainability challenges.

Megan Woods says Taranaki is a natural fit for the Summit.  

“Taranaki has already started work on its own transition roadmap and will be in a good position to share their progress and insights with us. The region is leading the way and their work will provide valuable ideas other regions and sectors can adapt to address their own challenges.”  

Visit justtransitionsummit.nz for more information on the programme and to register. 

What: Just Transition Summit – a chance to help shape our pathway to a low emissions economy

When: 9-10 May 2019

Where: TSB Stadium in New Plymouth

Who: Businesses, workers, Māori, youth and communities are invited to join with the Government for this exciting two-day event.