A low emission economy would provide Southland with major opportunities to support economic and social prosperity while mitigating the risks posed by climate change
Globally, it is thought that rapidly changing consumer preferences and the development of a low emissions economy is worth USD $26 trillion. As the appetite for climate change solutions and sustainable initiatives increases, Southland has the potential to benefit from a new approach to developing new market opportunities, sustainable infrastructure and resource efficiency.
As part of the work progressing with Carbon Neutral Advantage, we have identified the challenges, opportunities and climate finance considerations associated with this frame of thinking.
Southland’s large export and manufacturing capabilities make the region's economy prone to physical climate change which results in the agricultural and tourism sectors being disproportionally impacted.
Inundation, surface and river flooding pose serious threats, along with an increased number of biosecurity and infectious diseases which have been exposed through climate change and global deforestation.
As well as rising competition for low emission product manufacturing, changing market and consumer preferences are adding pressures.
In addition, poor air quality as a result of increased emissions is contributing to poor respiratory conditions and other negatively impacted health conditions.
When focusing on new climate economy initiatives there are four main areas where Southland has the potential to leverage significant benefits for the creation of a low emission future and overcome the above challenges.
Climate or sustainable finance (ESG) is a fast-growing financial sector, providing solutions to reduce emissions and climate risks.
Driven by investor, shareholder, market and legislative demand, ESG finance provides a variety of opportunities to support Southland’s transition to a low emission economy and future.
Current ESG finance services include Kiwisaver, green bonds, indexes and funds.
We are also developing a financial framework for a low emission economy and community for Southland, working alongside Southland’s financial institutions and providers on how best to implement this framework.