New Zealand has become the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their business and explain how they will manage climate-related risks and opportunities.
The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosure and Other Matters) amendment bill will make climate-related disclosures mandatory for around 200 organisations, including most listed issuers, large registered banks, licensed insurers and managers of investment schemes.
All registered firms with total assets of more than $1 billion will be covered by the programme, ensuring that about 90% of assets under management in New Zealand are included within the disclosure system.
Introduced this week, the bill, once passed, will see disclosure required for financial years commencing in 2022.
James Shaw, climate change minister, says: "Requiring the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change will help businesses identify the high-emitting activities that pose a risk to their future prosperity, as well as the opportunities presented by action on climate change and new low carbon technologies."
Last month, the UK government published a consultation paper proposing mandatory climate-related financial disclosures by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and LLPs.