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New Zealand adopts laws on publication of climate change for financial companies



(Reuters) – New Zealand has become the first country to pass laws requiring banks, insurance companies and investment managers to report the effects of climate change on their operations, officials said on Thursday.

About 200 of New Zealand's largest financial companies, including banks with total assets of more than NZ $ 1 billion ($ 718.90 million), large insurance companies and equity and debt issuers listed on the country's stock exchange will have to leave out information.

Several foreign companies meet the NZ $ 1 billion threshold — including Australia's four largest banks: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Westpac Corp. and the National Australia Bank will also be covered by the legislation.

"New Zealand is a world leader in this area and … we have an opportunity to pave the way for other countries to make climate-related information mandatory," said James Shaw, the climate minister, in a statement.

The new laws will require financial companies to explain how they would handle climate-related risks and opportunities, and the disclosure requirements will be based on standards from New Zealand's independent accounting body, the External Reporting Board.

These standards will be based on the Climate Change Financial Information Working Group and the disclosures will be mandatory for fiscal years beginning in 2023.

The New Zealand Government has introduced several policies to reduce emissions during its second term, including promising to do so. public sector carbon neutral in 2025 and buy only buses without emissions from public transport from the middle of this decade. Catalog

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