Climate change a threat to prosperity

The Green Party is calling on the Government to require all public fund managers to disclose their exposure to climate risks following a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) highlighting the financial risks of climate change for New Zealand.

The PCE, in her submission on the Emissions Trading Scheme review, said today that climate change poses a threat to New Zealand's the financial resilience and long term prosperity.

Finance Minister Bill English has previously dismissed the PCE's recommendation to prepare for the fiscal and economic impacts of climate change.

“The Finance Minister needs to open his eyes to climate change or risk being hit by the perfect financial storm,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“Publicly managed funds in New Zealand have significant investments in the fossil fuel industry, in assets that could lose value rapidly as major economies like China and the EU shift to cleaner energy.

“New Zealanders, who have money tied up in these funds, should be aware of how much of their savings are exposed if the value of the fossil fuel industry declines.

“When I was at the Paris Climate Conference last year, people like the Governor of the Bank of England and Michael Bloomberg said ‘it’s critical that industries and investors understand the risks posed by climate change’.  

“The National Government is out of steps with the leading voices in the global financial sector. The Finance Minister needs to start listening them," said Mr Shaw.

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