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New Zealand Introduces Climate Change Law for Financial Firms in World First
April 20, 2021 - January 1, 2022
SYDNEY — New Zealand has become the first country to introduce a law that will require banks, insurers and investment managers to report the impacts of climate change on their business, minister for climate change James Shaw said on Tuesday.
All banks with total assets of more than NZ$1 billion ($703 million), insurers with more than NZ$1 billion in total assets under management, and all equity and debt issuers listed on the country’s stock exchange will have to make disclosures.
“We simply cannot get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 unless the financial sector knows what impact their investments are having on the climate,” Shaw said in a statement.
“This law will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making.”
The bill, which has been introduced to the country’s parliament and is expected to receive its first reading this week, requires financial firms to explain how they would manage climate-related risks and opportunities.