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Climate Finance Event Next Month Heralds New Era For NZ

The face of financial technology is totally changing and New Zealand fintechs are on board to support major and positive climate change investments.

Aotearoa is the first country in the world to introduce a law that requires the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their businesses and explain how they manage climate-related risks and opportunities.

FintechNZ general manager James Brown says New Zealand is leading the charge to make climate-related reporting compulsory for the financial sector.

James Brown

Financial companies and organisations will embrace upcoming changes so banks and other financial organisations report on their annual emissions. In the coming years, most investments will be for climate finance.

FintechNZ is staging a major event in Auckland on August 19 which will examine the changes, trends and developments in climate finance investment rules.

Speakers at the event include Minister of Climate Change James Shaw, Finappster founder Leanna Kohn-Hardy and Pathfinder Asset Management chief executive John Berry.

Climate change is one of the key factors driving socially responsible investing. Financial markets globally are playing a major part in shifting investment away from emission intensive activities and towards a lower emission economy, Brown says.

“Climate finance refers to all investment that contributes to either climate mitigation or adaptation. The International Energy Agency estimates that global climate investments of $US75 trillion will be required by 2050 to have a 50 per cent chance of limiting warming to 2°C.

“Reporting compliance may initially place additional pressure on the financial sector, however overall, it will help investors, shareholders and companies to assess climate-related risks and opportunities and make more informed decisions. It’s an exciting new era.

“Once passed, the climate finance bill will mean that the first reporting disclosures will be made in 2023.

“It introduces mandatory climate-related disclosures for most listed issuers, along with large, registered banks, licensed insurers and registered managers of investment schemes.

“The legislation will make climate-related disclosures mandatory for around 200 New Zealand organisations, including most listed issuers, large banks, licensed insurers and managers of investment schemes.

“Open finance will enable a consumer to easily identify and track where their investments are being placed. This will create more transparency especially around fees and return,” Brown says.

FintechNZ is about to embark on a project to understand the opportunities around open finance.

It will address generational issues such as financial and digital literacy; how open finance will have a positive impact on financial inclusion how it will create more competition and give the end consumer more control.

The project will look at Māori and Pasifika, the ageing wealthy, small to medium businesses and the unbanked, or people not having access to services of a bank or similar financial organisation.

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