29 Nov 2017

Time for action on climate change - business group

4:09 pm on 29 November 2017

A business group says it's time to take the politics out of handling climate change and get broad-based agreement on future action.

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Photo: 123RF

The Sustainable Business Council has made a submission to the Productivity Commission, setting out a path to a low carbon economy, which it wants government, academics and community groups to support.

The council has more than 80 businesses and organisatons as members, including large industrials and emitters such as power companies Contact, Meridian and Mercury, as well as Fletcher Building and New Zealand Steel.

New Zealand has committed to cut emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and the government wants to make the country net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Council executive director Abbie Reynolds said it was time for action, not just more discussion and analysis.

"Climate change is a global issue already affecting business in New Zealand directly through increasingly extreme weather events, and indirectly through divestment away from fossil fuels," she said.

Ms Reynolds said businesses should start to think how they can make changes, because it would not happen overnight.

But she warned that the transition to a low carbon economy needs to be managed carefully.

"Emissions intensive sectors risk losing their competitiveness offshore, if they have to internalise the cost of carbon before their competitors," she said.

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