A lack of government leadership on climate change is leaving New Zealand businesses exposed to risks that are now ranked as the biggest facing businesses globally, the Green Party said today.
Climate change has been ranked as the number one risk to business over the next decade, a World Economic Forum report has found. The Global Risks Report 2016 ranks the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as the top medium term threat ahead of water crises, large-scale involuntary migration, and severe energy price shocks. Failure to limit warming to 2°C will create a high risk of that change becoming catastrophic, the report says.
“The National Government is failing to take leadership on the climate — a risk now ranked as the biggest risk to business globally by the World Economic Forum,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“Failure to mitigate and adapt successfully to climate change will mean New Zealand’s businesses will fall behind their international competitors.
“New Zealand businesses cannot fully invest in climate solutions until our Government steps up to provide long-term regulatory certainty on carbon pricing, government procurement, and infrastructure planning.
“The climate challenge also presents big opportunities for New Zealand businesses, but many tell me that they are missing out on innovating and investing in low carbon solutions due to a lack of strong, stable price signals and government policy support.
“Since coming to power, National has significantly changed the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) four times – the last time in Budget legislation without any public warning or cross-party agreement.
“National is failing to help New Zealand business manage the big risks and rewards that climate challenge creates for our economy.
“The Green Party will work across parties to strengthen the price signal on carbon pollution. We are also seeking to establish a Green Investment Bank to speed the transition of capital into the low carbon economy, helping to finance renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy efficiency retrofits, and the production of biofuels.
“I have consistently offered to work cross-party with National last year on the climate but have met resistance at almost every level.
“We’re not going to meet our Paris commitments to reduce our carbon pollution by letting the rest of the world do it for us. It’s time for our Government to help businesses lead the economic transition to a clean, green economy,” said Mr Shaw.
Link to WEF Global Risks Report 2016: