How does the Treaty of Waitangi, managing emissions and embracing equity work together to create a prosperous Aotearoa?
A new report by Global Women Partners, Deloitte, outlines the targeted actions we can take to transition to a decarbonised economy — and reap its benefits.
That is, if we act on it.
Titled Aotearoa New Zealand’s Turning Point, the report — with substantial input from leaders Jane Fraser-Jones and Liza van der Merwe — considers how our nation’s unique intersection of laws positions us to not just decarbonise our environment, but reap a bountiful harvest from it.
“It was interesting to learn New Zealand will be the first country in the world to reach its turning point” — Liza van der Merwe
It uses a unique economic model to show that adequate climate action could add 64 billion to New Zealand’s GDP, in net present value terms, by 2050 if warming is limited to 1.5°C. A loss of 4.4 billion is the other side of the coin, should inadequate action not be taken.
Like most things worth fighting for, it gets tough before it gets better. If New Zealand stays on track, it will be one of the first countries to reap the benefits. After 2036, New Zealand’s economy will not only grow, but grow more than it might otherwise from inadequate action on climate change.
“…We have a comparative advantage to the rest of the world and can have a first-mover advantage by taking action now” — Liza van der Merwe
“It was interesting to learn New Zealand will be the first country in the world to reach its turning point,” shares Liza van der Merwe. “Part of the reason New Zealand will reach this point relatively early compared to other countries is due to the high proportion of renewable energy we already have. This means Aotearoa’s transition towards net-zero emissions, relative to other countries, is not as significant and costly. We, therefore, have a comparative advantage to the rest of the world and can have a first-mover advantage by taking action now,” she says when asked what found most interesting in this report.
“Without [business leaders], Turning Point wouldn’t have the richness it does, so it shows what an important issue this is for local businesses” — Jane Fraser-Jones
Researcher Jane Fraser-Jones also speaks to the power bringing together a range of perspectives in this dialogue. “We spoke to range of business leaders and all were really generous with their time, providing thoughtful and interesting answers and context. Without them, Turning Point wouldn’t have the richness it does, so it shows what an important issue this is for local businesses.”
For Jane, this is a huge source of pride for this research. “[I’m most proud of] the dedication from our team to contribute this great thinking to a topical, national conversation, and to the business leaders for taking the time to engage with us, which is hugely appreciated”.
As for what Liza is most proud of? “It’s great to be part of the creation of this initiative and our amazing team collaboration across 12-months, and I’m really proud to be contributing to the conversation on the impacts and opportunities of responding to climate change in New Zealand.”
“As an economist it’s also been a great opportunity to develop modelling infrastructure to showcase how we reached our findings and how we can then apply this to clients organisations to help them take a strategic position on climate change action.”