Nina Ives

Nina Ives

BE (Hons), Masters Climate Change Science and Policy

I have always loved learning and problem-solving – two reasons I decided to become an engineer. In October 2016 I began supporting a family of former refugees through the Red Cross. This entertaining, and at times awkward, journey of navigating cultural differences piqued my interest in refugees and other cultures. I sought out ways to help former refugees in Wellington through my consulting role at the time.

Around the same time, I was involved in my company’s internal sustainability team – the Green Team – which brought my attention to the issue of climate change. My concern about the global number of displaced people and refugees grew as I began to appreciate climate change’s ability to exacerbate the situation through amplifying resource scarcities and extreme weather events. This concern motivated me to return to study and complete a Master of Climate Change Science and Policy in 2019.

My interest in climate change has continued and I’m now five months into a PhD at AUT, where I am focusing on climate change policy and ethical issues. My thesis topic is: ‘Understanding state actors’ contributions to global warming and responsibilities for mitigating climate change.’

As the world strives to meet its 1.5˚C and 2˚C warming targets, tracking countries’ greenhouse gas emissions will be hugely important. I’ve developed a dashboard-type tool that will allow users to analyse countries’ greenhouse gas emissions data in different ways. Conventional approaches of assigning responsibility for emissions are already being challenged. So, if we are to limit our human-induced warming of the planet, how should the global carbon budget be divided up amongst countries in a way that is just and fair?

Further study is helping me to better understand climate change. Ultimately, I hope to utilise my technical engineering and problem-solving skills, knowledge of the climate system and ability to connect with others to help reduce the number of people who could be forced to flee their homes in the future.