Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Zealand Plans to Become First Country to Require Climate Risk Reporting

Politics
New Zealand Plans to Become First Country to Require Climate Risk Reporting
New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis. Lawrence Murray / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis.


This means that about 200 of the country's biggest companies and banks would have to report on the impact that extreme weather events or climate polices will have on their business, Stuff explained.

"Today is another step on the journey this Government is taking towards a low carbon future for Aotearoa New Zealand and a cleaner, safer planet for future generations," said Minister for Climate Change James Shaw Tuesday, Scoop reported.

The move builds on New Zealand's emerging legacy of climate action, such as its historic Zero Carbon Bill that committed the country to honoring the goals of the Paris agreement and achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.

However, New Zealand's parliament is currently dissolved ahead of the Oct. 17 election, The Guardian reported. In order for it to enter into force, Shaw's party, the Green Party, would have to enter a coalition government after the election and the proposal would then have to pass parliament.

If it passes, every New Zealand bank, building society, credit union, insurer or Crown Financial Institution with more than $1 billion in assets will have to report annually on the risk climate change poses to its business or explain why it cannot, according to Stuff. That report would include what the risks are, how the institution is managing them and how it is working to address the impacts of climate change.

"Many large businesses in New Zealand do not currently have a good understanding of how climate change will impact on what they do," Shaw said. "The changes I am announcing today will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making. It will ensure the disclosure of climate risk is clear, comprehensive and mainstream."

Shaw said that Australia, Canada, UK, France, Japan and the European Union were developing some form of climate risk reporting, but New Zealand's plan was more ambitious because it included the whole financial system, according to Scoop. The institutions covered by the policy account for 90 percent of the assets controlled in New Zealand, Stuff reported.

If the proposal passes parliament, the climate reporting would begin in 2023.

Nobel Laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz praised the proposed plan, according to The Guardian.

"Once again, New Zealand is leading the world… It led the world in showing how democratic countries could manage the risks of Covid-19," he said. "And now, New Zealand is leading the way in showing how we can help manage the risk of climate change."

A dugong, also called a sea cow, swims with golden pilot jacks near Marsa Alam, Egypt, Red Sea. Alexis Rosenfeld / Getty Images

In 2010, world leaders agreed to 20 targets to protect Earth's biodiversity over the next decade. By 2020, none of them had been met. Now, the question is whether the world can do any better once new targets are set during the meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity in Kunming, China later this year.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

President Joe Biden signs executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Jan. 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

By Andrew Rosenberg

The first 24 hours of the administration of President Joe Biden were filled not only with ceremony, but also with real action. Executive orders and other directives were quickly signed. More actions have followed. All consequential. Many provide a basis for not just undoing actions of the previous administration, but also making real advances in public policy to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

A first-of-its-kind study has examined the satellite record to see how the climate crisis is impacting all of the planet's ice.

Read More Show Less
Probiotic rich foods. bit245 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Ana Maldonado-Contreras

Takeaways

  • Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy.
  • Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system.
  • New research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows the presence of certain bacteria in the gut may reveal which people are more vulnerable to a more severe case of COVID-19.

You may not know it, but you have an army of microbes living inside of you that are essential for fighting off threats, including the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Read More Show Less