Reports and Projects

The transition to a low-emissions landscape

BY David Hall

David Hall, Senior Researcher at The Policy Observatory, is engaged in several projects related to the low-emissions transition, especially on forests, land use and sustainable finance. This draws on his academic research background in geography, political theory and public policy, as well as earlier work for Pure Advantage, Trees That Count, and IGPS, Victoria University of Wellington.

Low-emissions Transition

David is editing a book on New Zealand’s low-emissions transition, titled  A Careful Revolution, to be published June 2019 by BWB Texts. More information is available here.

Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy

Throughout 2017, David consulted on Auckland Council’s Urban Ngahere (Forest) Strategy, particularly its overarching vision and strategic framework. The Strategy was released on 27th March 2019 and is available here. David also advised on the Mayor of Auckland’s Million Trees Programme.

Sustainable Finance

David is on the Technical Working Group for Aotearoa Circle’s Sustainable Finance Forum, which aims to systematically align New Zealand’s financial system with 21st century sustainability challenges such as meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

Along with David also co-authored (with Sam Lindsay) New Zealand’s first ever report on domestic climate finance flows – that is, investment flows into assets and activities that contribute to climate mitigation, climate adaptation, or both.  Climate Finance Landscape for Aotearoa New Zealand: A Preliminary Survey was prepared for the Ministry for the Environment (MfE), and launched by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, on 13th April 2018 at Europe House in AUT.

The report is available on MfE’s website here. It is also cited substantially in the Productivity Commission’s Low-emissions Economy draft report (particularly Chapter 6) which is available here. Associated media includes an op-ed for the  Dominion Post (see here); coverage by the  New Zealand Herald ’s Business Editor, Liam Dann (see here), and Science Reporter Jamie Morton (see here); and further coverage in Stuff, Carbon News, and Voxy.

Climate Finance Innovation

Along with collaborator Sam Lindsay, David is also involved in climate finance innovation, by designing financial instruments that enable climate mitigation and adaptation projects.

The first project is the Native Forest Bond Scheme, which aims to establish continuous native forests on highly erosion-prone pastoral land in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is an example of results-based financing, which uses an environmental impact bond structure to mobilise private investment through a government guarantee to pay for outcomes (for further detail, see David’s article for  Policy Quarterly). With funding support from Foundation North’s GIFT fund, David and Sam developed a business case for the Native Forest Bond Scheme (available on request) and delivered this to the New Zealand Government to inform its future afforestation policy.

The concept note for the Native Forest Bond Scheme can be downloaded below:

The transition to a low-emissions landscape