Low emissions economy

This section is about our work to improve energy efficiency, including lowering greenhouse gas emissions and fostering growth in renewable energy.

Mandatory climate-related financial disclosures

The Government plans to make climate-related financial disclosures mandatory for some organisations. The requirement would apply to publicly listed companies and large insurers, banks and investment managers.

The mandatory regime would be introduced through an amendment to the Financial Markets Conduct Act (2013). Financial entities could be required to make disclosures for financial years commencing in 2022 if the legislation is enacted in 2021.

Purpose of mandatory reporting

The goal of mandatory climate-related financial disclosures is to:

  • promote greater transparency and more accurate pricing signals in the market
  • incentivise low-emissions investment
  • create a level-playing field for businesses already considering climate change in their longer-term risks.

This would help New Zealand meet its international obligations and achieve its target of zero carbon by 2050. It would also help to promote business certainty and provide users of financial reports with higher quality and more comparable information.

Organisations that would have to make disclosures

There are around 200 entities in New Zealand that would be required to produce climate-related financial disclosures (make disclosures). 

  • All registered banks, credit unions, and building societies with total assets of more than $1 billion.
  • All managers of registered investment schemes with greater than $1 billion in total assets under management.
  • All licensed insurers with greater than $1 billion in total assets under management or annual premium income greater than $250 million.
  • All equity and debt issuers listed on the NZX.
  • Crown financial institutions with greater than $1 billion in total assets under management.

More information is available on the Ministry for the Environment website

Mandatory climate-related financial disclosures - Ministry for the Environment(external link)

Related information

Cabinet paper and proactive release documents

Cabinet paper: Climate-related financial disclosures(external link)

RIS: Climate-related financial disclosures(external link)

Cabinet minute: Climate-related financial disclosures(external link)

Minister Shaw press release(external link)

Earlier discussion documents and Cabinet papers (Ministry for the Environment website)

Climate-related financial disclosures – Understanding your business risks and opportunities related to climate change(external link)

Cabinet paper: Release of discussion document: Climate-related financial disclosures - Understanding your business risks and opportunities related to climate change(external link)

Cabinet committee minute: Release of discussion document: Climate-related financial disclosures - Understanding your business risks and opportunities related to climate change(external link)

Further reading

Chapman Tripp legal opinion: Climate change risk – Implications for New Zealand company directors and managed investment scheme providers (October 2019)(external link)

Final Report: Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (June 2017)(external link)

Sustainable Finance Forum interim report 2019 (October 2019)(external link)

Environmental management work

The Ministry for the Environment is the government's principal adviser on environmental and climate change issues. However, we also contribute to the development of environmental and climate change policies because of their relevance to energy efficiency and resource development, including:

In this section

Energy efficiency in New Zealand

We’re responsible for advising the Government on energy efficiency policy for New Zealand. EECA is responsible for implementing programmes to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand homes and business.

Carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the process to remove carbon dioxide, from waste gases produced in large-scale industrial processes and permanently store it underground.

Process heat in New Zealand

We are working with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to improve process heat's energy efficiency and increase the input from renewable energy.

NZ Battery

The Cabinet has approved funding to investigate possible energy storage solutions to New Zealand’s dry year electricity problem.

Last updated: 17 September 2020