Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Goodbye desk, hello ice-breaking yacht

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Dr Nigel Jollands lives on board SV Novara.

Dr Nigel Jollands, whose family is based in Beachlands, made a very significant change to his life path earlier this year.

After 30 years working on climate change policy and finance, he decided eight months ago to get out from behind his desk and set off in his ice-breaker sailing yacht SV Novara.

At the time he was leaving the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development [EBRD] and embarking on an adventure of a lifetime with his wife Veronica Lysaght.

The expedition’s mission is supporting coastal communities around the world to find solutions to the impacts of climate change.

Their voyage will take them through the North Atlantic, Caribbean, Arctic and Pacific on their way home to New Zealand.

Jollands spent three decades developing and implementing sustainable energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation policies from his based in Europe at all levels of government – from the G8 [eight of the world’s biggest industrial countries] to City Hall – and in the private sector.

From March 2011, he was in London with the EBRD as associate director, working at the interface between policy and finance, Head of Infrastructure in Climate Strategy and Delivery and co-leading EBRD Green Cities.

Before that he was in Paris for some five years working for the International Energy Agency.

Dr Victoria Syddall (nee Jollands) is Nigel’s sister and attended Sunny Hills Primary School.

Today, he and his wife live aboard their specialised high-latitude expedition yacht and ice breaker vessel Novara.

Their current position is somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean having recently left Tangier and Portugal.

The big news at the moment is that Lady Pippa Blake has joined Novara One Planet as a patron.

Following Sir Peter Blake’s death, in 2004 Lady Pippa established the Sir Peter Blake Trust – a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to continuing her late husband’s legacy, and inspiring the next generation of Kiwi leaders, adventurers and environmentalists.

“She shares a deep concern for the effects of climate change on the planet and is a strong supporter of the Novara’s mission,” Jollands said in a media statement.

“The Novara One Planet project aims to connect people to the impacts of climate change through science, education, art and adventure.

“As an accomplished artist, we hope Pippa will join us on board Novara at key stages of our journey.”

Lady Pippa said she is thrilled to support the Novara team as they work with coastal communities adapting to climate change.

“This is urgent work as the effects of climate change are happening now, particularly in coastal communities.”

The Novara One Planet has several other prominent supporters including Jollands’ sister Dr Victoria Syddall, a scientist examining gender and climate change in Pacific communities.

She attended Sunnyhills Primary and now lives in Beachlands.

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