May 27, 2021 Read More →

NZ expands order for financial institutions to expand climate disclosure

IHS Markit ($):

The New Zealand Parliament is expanding on a government order made in September 2020 requiring large insurers and financial institutions to identify their risks from climate change.

The government claims that the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosure and Other Matters) Amendment Bill would be the first such national law in the world. If enacted, reporting will be mandatory starting with fiscal year 2022, with the reporting deadline in 2023.

The bill, once enacted into law, would cover insurers with over NZ$1 billion (US$750 million) in assets under management; all banks, credit unions, and building societies with total assets exceeding $1 billion; and all equity and debt issuers listed on the national stock exchange NZX. The institutions affected by this bill represent about 90% of assets under management in New Zealand, according to the government’s announcement.

“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,” said Minister for Climate Change James Shaw in introducing the bill. “This law will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making.”

The bill would set into law guidance issued in September 2020. In all, about 200 institutions would be affected, including state-owned investment funds.

[Kevin Adler]

More: New Zealand proposes mandatory climate disclosure

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