Last week, after three days without power, I had an epiphany. No, not that having a warm shower is a luxury you should never take for granted (although turns out you shouldn’t). I realised that in a world becoming increasingly reliant on technology, mother nature might still have the final word!
Whether you blame the growing number of ‘weather events’ on climate change, or not, will depend on your personal philosophy and which news channels you follow. Regardless, the weather has already cost New Zealand in excess of $100 million in the first few months of this year.
From a tech perspective, this presents New Zealand with a massive opportunity. This weekend, Rod Oram noted that fixing farming is New Zealand’s climate challenge. He detailed a conversation with one of the world’s leading earth scientists, Johan Rockström, who was recently in New Zealand. Johan pointed out that agriculture is the largest single source of greenhouse gases globally. Agriculture’s tech and economic pathways to sustainability are far less clear than those for energy and transport, for example. As a result, we need greater levels of innovation within the agriculture sector. Johan believes New Zealand has a global leading role to play transformation. On one hand, agriculture emissions are 49.2 percent of our total emissions. Yet, on the other, Johan believes our farmers, scientists and businesses that support them, are among the most innovative in the world.
It is incredibly exciting to see a collaborative and cohesive approach to driving improvements with the upcoming launch of AgriTechNZ. A large number of international agri-investors and market experts will be visiting New Zealand during Techweek to attend the headline event, 10 Billion Mouths, meet agri-sector leaders and attend the AgriTechNZ launch.
Hopefully this week, the sun will shine, as I have a short week, before a week’s leave in Wanaka and Queenstown with the family and my mountain bike! Enjoy your week.