Seminar Series: Building a low emissions, resilient finance system.

2nd Sept. 2020

Barry Coates, Founder and CEO of Mindful Money speaks with Hon. James Shaw, the Minister for Climate Change, on building a low emissions, resilient finance system.

The discussion addressed a wide range of climate finance issues, including negative screening to avoid harm, positive investing for emissions reductions and providing information on climate risks and impacts.

On negative screening, the Minister talked about the inclusion of information for the public on ethical policies by future default KiwiSaver providers and the requirement for default providers to exclude fossil fuels. This is likely to have wider impacts on investment funds. The discussion referred to Mindful Money's work on providing public information on portfolios and the recent report Inside the Black Box.

On channelling more funds to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Minister noted that Green Investment Finance has made two investments, but may potentially need more funding in order to particiapte in larger scale funding. He also noted the increase in the use of green bonds and their potential to play a role in ensuring that finance for recovery from COVID would be managed for specifically green and sustainable outcomes. The discussion also referred to the potential for sustainable finance to complement New Zealand's international reputation for sustainability and to attract international capital, an issue being addressed within the Sustainable Finance Forum.

The Minister noted that the government's proposed climate disclosure provisions, based on the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), are being discussed by many Central Banks around the world, as part of measures to manage the potential risks from stranded assets and disruption to fossil fuel companies. He noted that Canada has made some of their recovery grants conditional on companies adopting TCFD reporting standards.

The Q&A included issues of incentives and regulations for reducing transport emissions. The Minister hoped that policies would be introduced early in the term of the incoming government. Work is underway on a broader picture of potential government policy related to land use changes for agriculture native forests and plantation forestry.

Please watch the video to see the full content of an interesting and important discussion.

With thanks to our principal sponsors - Generate KiwiSaver, Harbour Asset Management, Booster Asset Management, and Sustainalytics; contributing sponsors - AMP Capital, Harbour Asset Management, Mercer and Milford Asset Management; and supporting sponsor - Devon Funds Management.