TNC partners with NZ energy company on blue carbon project

New Zealand’s Z Energy (Z) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) are teaming up to protect the Aotearoa salt marsh and coast line as part of TNC’s efforts to create a thriving blue carbon marketplace.

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
9 September 2022, at 9:00am
Waimeha Inlet
Waimeha Inlet in New Zealand

TNC is currently working with Z Energy to finalise the locations for the pilot phase of the project, with site work planned to commence in early-2023 © Z Energy

The TNC Aotearoa Blue Carbon Project is one of a few being backed by Z's new $1 million Biodiversity Fund - aimed to support initiatives that will improve the resilience of Aotearoa New Zealand's indigenous biodiversity.

Abbie Bull, head of community and sustainability at Z says the project closely aligns with the company's new 2030 Community and Sustainability Strategy.

"Our strategy provides a clear pathway for how we can achieve meaningful social and environment outcomes in areas that are most relevant to our business, and the communities in which we live and operate. It brings together two key areas Z is focused on improving – community and sustainability – and is centred around the principle of the intrinsic interconnectedness of community, nature and climate."

TNC's Blue Carbon Project complements other blue carbon research work in New Zealand and will work to implement a natural climate solution by restoring salt marshes in key coastline locations across Aotearoa, maximising the blue carbon storage potential of our natural ecosystems. Z's support will help TNC with the pilot phase of the project to build a carbon sequestration evidence base at the key sites, undertake the restoration work and bring the credits to market.

"We are really proud to be partnering with TNC on this innovative project. Nature is an important part of our lives in Aotearoa, and this partnership gives us a real opportunity to create new revenue streams to fund restoration efforts that will protect our unique biodiversity and important habitats most vulnerable to climate change," says Abbie.

Dr Erik van Eyndhoven, associate director of conservation at TNC Aotearoa says, "we are grateful for Z's generous support of our blue carbon work in Aotearoa. This will strengthen our ongoing global efforts to increase the use of nature-based solutions to climate change and sea level rise in a way that benefits both biodiversity and people."

TNC is currently working to finalise the locations for the pilot phase of the project, with site work planned to commence in early-2023. Further details will be announced in the coming months.