New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race

Pure Advantage, the not-for-profit organisation developing a green growth strategy for New Zealand, released a significant report into New Zealand’s position in the global green economy. It details how New Zealand is currently lagging behind the rest of the world and how industry can encourage green economic growth to ensure a greener, wealthier future for all New Zealanders.

Entitled ‘New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race’, the report examines the global green race and provides an appraisal of New Zealand’s environmental performance across a range of parameters. This report is the first step in Pure Advantage’s process and is designed to be a conversation starter about the potential opportunities for New Zealand in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the broader green economy. The report explains how green growth is a path to improved economic performance, better paying jobs, the protection of our environment, and improved health outcomes for New Zealand.

The report highlights that what has been missing from the discussion over the change to a green economy, is the many benefits of green growth. Much of the debate in New Zealand to date has focused on the downside, the various costs and obligations. But rather than a burden, green growth can be an economic pathway to create sustainable wealth and promises a revolution in how we structure our economy and society.

Pure Advantage is working with corporate leaders who are willing to take a role in shaping New Zealand’s green growth future and aims to engage corporates, industry groups, academics, iwi, and the government, by positioning the discussion towards the huge opportunities offered by the emergence of a green growth economy.

Global green growth is potentially worth NZ$6 trillion a year and represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for New Zealand to improve its economy for the better. Not only could this create further wealth for the country, but it brings with it significant environmental benefits.

The report identifies key examples from countries around the world that have begun to benefit from the emerging green economy, including Australia, the UK, Sweden, and Israel and offers a broad based look at where New Zealand’s strengths may lie.

The report finds that while New Zealand’s international branding relies heavily on the competitive advantage of our 100% Pure New Zealand brand, we continue to slide down the OECD economic performance tables and our relative quality of life is decreasing. It claims that successive governments have failed to make the long term strategic decisions needed to address New Zealand’s economic slide, while at the same time missing opportunities to keep the country green and clean. For example, New Zealand currently has 1.6 million poorly insulated homes and a high extinction rate of biodiversity, added to declining water quality and the 5th highest CO2 emissions per capita in OECD.

New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race is the first key piece of research that Pure Advantage has released, and this report is about broadly assessing New Zealand’s performance and opportunities while developing a vision for New Zealand’s future.

The report is a pre-cursor to a macroeconomic review that Pure Advantage has commissioned, the first of its kind in New Zealand, to identify New Zealand’s key high value green growth opportunities. The review has been undertaken by internationally respected economists Vivid Economics in conjunction with the University of Auckland Business School and is due to be released in the third quarter of 2012.

Interested parties can find out more by downloading the full report now from www.pureadvantage.org.

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