Lisa McLaren—BA 2010, BSc 2010, MEnvStud 2014
Lisa McLaren was National Convenor of the Zero Carbon Act campaign for Generation Zero and is one of New Zealand’s leading advocates for a carbon-zero Aotearoa.
Lisa McLaren was national convenor of the Zero Carbon Act campaign for Generation Zero and is one of New Zealand’s leading advocates for a carbon-zero Aotearoa.
Lisa and the youth-led Generation Zero team campaign for smarter transport, liveable cities, and independence from fossil fuels by lobbying government, businesses, and other organisations to advance climate change action.
Together with the Generation Zero team, Lisa was instrumental in developing the Zero Carbon Bill, a clear, ambitious, and achievable climate law, which was adopted by the Government and passed unopposed into law by Parliament in November 2019.
After graduating from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington with bachelor’s degrees in arts and science, Lisa completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies with a climate change education focus. In 2014, Lisa was employed at Wellington City Council, working on city resilience and sea-level-rise policy. A year later, she moved into emergency response and community resilience with the Wellington Region Emergency Management Office.
She has attended several United Nations climate change negotiations, including co-convening the New Zealand youth delegation at the Paris climate talks in 2015. She is a board member of Track Zero, which promotes more convergence of climate change education and the arts. Lisa has been named one of 15 ‘next generation influencers’ with the Our Land and Water National Science Challenge Toitū Te Whenua, Toiora te Wai.
Lisa’s commitment and exceptional work leading the campaign for the Zero Carbon Act was recognised in 2020, when she was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to climate change advocacy.
She is currently completing her PhD at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research at Massey University, where her research explores how the combination of citizen-led science and climate activism can be used to build community resilience to the climate crisis.