Building New Zealand’s Future Wealth Through a Green Economy

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Pure Advantage, the organisation championing a move to a green growth economy says New Zealand needs much more decisive leadership in order to position the country for opportunities in sustainable and innovative niche industries where we can have a natural competitive advantage.

To highlight this leading UK based global strategic economics consultancy Vivid Economics is preparing a significant macroeconomic report on New Zealand’s green growth opportunities in conjunction with the University of Auckland Business School, with an outline of the work released this week.

Rob Morrison, Chairman of Pure Advantage, says the macroeconomic report will critically assess and measure New Zealand’s green growth opportunities and benchmark the country’s performance.

“The report summary sends a clear message that New Zealand should embrace the green growth opportunity and capitalise on our nimbleness and small size as leaders, not only in areas like low energy intensity farming and sustainable fisheries but also in new key green growth industries some of which are already making a global impact such as Lanzatech, ” says Morrison.

Morrison adds that the global value of potential additional commercial opportunities, from the shift to a green world economy, is estimated to be up to $6.0 trillion a year by 2050.

The green economy will be driven by innovation and as one of Pure Advantage trustees, Sir Paul Callaghan noted recently:

“With only 0.2% of the world’s economy we can succeed in the niche markets of the world, growing businesses that are substantial in the New Zealand context. We have to think like Singapore, not as we have done for 150 years, as a country that can live off its natural resources.”

Furthermore Morrison points to the UN Development Programme Report (Sustainability and Equity: A better future for all) which says,

“Growth driven by fossil fuel consumption is not a prerequisite for a better life in broader human development terms…investments that improve equity – for example, renewable energy, water and sanitation…could advance both sustainability and human development.”

Morrison adds that the savings from green growth, in particular with a greater emphasis on energy efficiency will also be significant and New Zealand will benefit if we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

“The International Energy Association estimates that the net savings to 2050 from reduced fuel use have a present value of US$8 trillion. In New Zealand the savings would be hundreds of millions of dollars and would be re-invested into education, health and infrastructural development to build the wealth of our country in a way that would lift living standards overall.”

Pure Advantage’s macroeconomic report is due to be published and launched in March 2012.