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Tech critical to reduce NZ emissions

November 8, 2022

The idea that New Zealand can reach its emissions targets without relying heavily on technology and innovation has always struck the tech ecosystem as strange, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

Last week, the lack of any mention of technology in the government’s emission reduction plan was acknowledged as an oversight, according to climate change minister James Minister Shaw.

“This comes as Spark released a detailed analysis of how digital technologies could help New Zealand meet its emissions reduction targets,” Muller says.

“The study found 7.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, or 42 percent of the country’s 17 million tonne reductions needed by 2030, could be found by using enabling digital technologies.

“Among its recommendations is a proposal for digital technologies to be included in national emissions reduction planning in the future.

“The Climate Commission’s advice that the technology and the tools Aotearoa needs to reach its climate targets exist today was short sighted.

“Certainly, it is true that great technology already exists around the world for reducing climate impacts, but are they right for New Zealand?

“The commission’s comment appeared to have created a perspective in the government’s emissions reduction plan that we don’t need to be concerned about technology.

“There is a strong need for emissions reduction technology roadmaps for New Zealand, much like those seen in other jurisdictions like the UK, NSW and Denmark.

“This will help align the best types of technology investments and accelerate private investment in critical technologies. “

A collaborative approach with industry, the tech ecosystem and government will help identify technology pathways that will work best for Aotearoa.

The government also spends millions of dollars supporting science and research in New Zealand and with a clear roadmap some of this funding could be aligned with developing some of the tech we will need in the future, right here in New Zealand for New Zealand.

The Aotearoa technology sector is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy, creating many jobs, GDP and exports. Just yesterday, StatsNZ announced that sales of IT software and services in 2021 were worth $10.9 billion to Aotearoa, up 16 percent since 2019.

New Zealand’s tech sector has 113,440 employees and each new tech sector job creates 4.8 other new jobs. Investment in early stage tech firms grew 48 percent in 2020.

For further information contact NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller on 021 02520767 or NZTech’s media specialist, Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.