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NZ directors face liability over failure to act on climate

Leading the news this week – A significant Bill is now in force requiring directors to consider climate risk as they would any other financial risk. And speaking of directors, we recommend checking out a recent talk given by Australian iron-ore billionaire Andrew Forrest emphasising the extreme risk humanity is facing due to the life-threatening connection between rising temperatures and increased humidity.


In more positive news, the State of California voted to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, India’s rate of emissions intensity reduced by 33%, and China’s war on pollution has increased the lifespan of Chinese urbanites by 2.2 years.


Meanwhile, some of the world’s largest insurance companies are moving to withdraw coverage, exclude natural disasters and raise premiums. In other words, the climate crisis is slowly making more and more properties uninsurable, leaving owners exposed to huge financial risk and stranded assets. The climate crisis is even coming for your olive oil and other commodities, too! Spanish olive oil production fell by more than 50% over the past year.


Thankfully, change is happening in the energy sector, with the International Renewable Energy Association announcing 2022 a turning point in the cost-competitiveness of renewables.


To round things off, we have an article explaining why luxury items should face a higher climate penalty. And finally, a reminder that as adults, one of our most important responsibilities is to connect our children to the natural world, because when kids feel the magic of nature, they will want to protect it.


As you are reading this, our team are completing Greenhouse Gas Inventories, providing audit support to our clients, undertaking energy audits, procuring electricity contracts and generally helping clients along their carbon journey. If you are looking for help in those areas (or if you know of anyone who is), please get in touch with our team today.



The Companies (Directors Duties) Amendment Bill has received Royal Assent and came into force on 8th August 2023. This Bill requires directors to consider environmental, social and governance matters when considering the best interests of a company. Furthermore, directors must act reasonably to inform themselves about, consider and decide how to respond to climate change risk, as they would any other financial risk, something that the Institute of Directors is encouraging all its directors and their Boards to adopt and implement. Read more...



And one business owner taking climate change seriously is Australian iron-ore billionaire and green energy investor – Andrew Forrest, the Executive Chairman of Fortescue. A recent speech by Andrew Forrest included the comments like “Business will kill your children” and “Humanity is at risk. Now”. It’s something you rarely hear from a business leader in a public forum, or that is filed in a stock exchange announcement. But Forrest means business, and serves as an example of business putting their money where their mouth is. Literally. Read more....



The state of California has endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, marking a historic milestone as the largest global economy to do so. The SJR 2 resolution, introduced by Senator Lena A. Gonzalez, urges President Biden to support Pacific nations moving ahead with seeking a negotiating mandate for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. This move underscores California's commitment to combating climate change amid rising crises and shows the momentum the Fossil Fuel Treaty proposal is gaining. Read more....



India has reported a remarkable 33% reduction in their rate of emissions intensity over 14 years, surpassing expectations. India’s emissions intensity, measured as emissions per unit of GDP, fell by 33% between 2005 and 2019. This achievement is attributed to increased renewable energy generation and forest expansion, positioning India well on track to meet its commitment under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change. Since 2019, India has made further progress in reducing their emissions by heavily investing into renewable energy initiatives. This means that their emissions intensity could be even lower today. Read more....



China's rigorous anti-pollution campaign has led to a remarkable 42% reduction in air pollution levels in cities such as Beijing, extending urban dwellers' life expectancy by 2.2 years, according to the University of Chicago's Air Quality Life Index. Key measures include reducing the presence of heavy industries, curbing coal power plants, restricting car usage during peak hours, and massive urban tree planting. China's success has also lowered the global pollution average, underscoring the transformative power of political will and resources in combatting pollution, particularly for regions facing worsening air quality. Read more....



Residents in areas that are prone to extreme weather events in the US are now being told by Some of the country’s largest insurance companies that extreme weather has led them to end certain coverages and exclude natural disaster protections and raise premiums. Events, such as hurricanes, wind and hail from policies, underwriting property along coastlines and in wildfire country. As insurers leave certain markets or cut certain perils out of policies, some homeowners are going without insurance altogether! Read more....



Climate change is also impacting olive oil production, ‘Heatflation’ has doubled the price of olive oil over the past year. Scorching temperatures harm crops and push prices up. A yearlong drought and a spring of extreme heat in Spain, the world’s largest olive oil producer, devastated the country’s olive groves. Olive oil production fell by a half, from an estimated 1.3 million to 610,000 tons over the past year. Olive oil now costs $8,600 per metric ton and is nearly 14 times more than crude oil! Read more....



Have we reached a positive turning point in regard to renewable energy, new data that shows wind and solar cut $US520 billion ($NZ879 billion) from the electricity sectors fuel bill in 2022 alone. The report says that without the deployment of renewables over the last two decades, the economic disruption from the fossil fuel price shock in 2022 would have been much worse. At least 86% of new utility-scale solar PV capacity additions and 87% of onshore wind capacity additions had lower costs than new fossil fuel options. Read more....



A study suggests that luxury items should be subject to higher climate-related taxes or penalties due to their significant environmental impact. The research argues that the production and consumption of luxury goods contribute substantially to greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion. Implementing higher charges on such items could incentivise consumers to make more sustainable choices and reduce their carbon footprint. The study underscores the need to address consumption patterns of affluent individuals as part of global efforts to combat climate change and promote eco-conscious behaviour. Read more....



This article discusses "Nature Deficit Disorder" and the importance of children connecting with nature. It emphasises that spending time outdoors and engaging with natural environments is essential for children's physical and mental well-being. The piece looks at various initiatives and programs aimed at reintroducing kids to nature, such as outdoor education and nature-based activities. Also touching on the potential long-term benefits of these efforts, including fostering a deeper appreciation for the environment, healthier lifestyles, and increased environmental leadership among future generations. Ultimately, highlighting the urgency of addressing the disconnect between children and the natural world. Read more....





This week we have the following innovation articles we hope you find interesting:

Hydrology Report - 14 September 2023



Electricity Price Index - 14 September 2023








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