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New Zealand can turn global interest in "Green Growth" into part of its economic growth engine by responding effectively to fundamental changes now occurring around the world in consumer preferences, business strategies and government policies.
That is the view of the Green Growth Advisory Group in a new discussion paper on Green Growth opportunities and challenges for this country.
The Government-appointed independent Advisory Group, chaired by Phil O’Reilly, the Chief Executive of Business New Zealand, invites public comment in response to the “Green Growth – Issues for New Zealand” paper. The period for comment will close on 20 September and the Advisory Group will present a report to the Government in December 2011.
The paper says rising awareness of environmental issues and the pressure on natural resources present a major question for nations individually and collectively: How do we achieve economic growth and development while recognising the limits inherent in natural systems and the need for greater environmental stewardship?
“Across much of the world, economic growth will increasingly come from the development and adoption of more efficient and ‘greener’ technologies, products and practices,” says Mr O’Reilly. “Making credible claims about the integrity of products and services – including their environmental integrity – will be increasingly important for access to markets, for earning ‘ green’ price premiums and, potentially, for even retaining current price margins.”
The Advisory Group sees growth opportunities for New Zealand arising from Green Growth trends worldwide, and from this country’s exposure to these as an open, trade-dependent economy with strong reliance on primary sector exports and tourism.
The Advisory Group seeks public comment on issues under three Green Growth topics of special importance to New Zealand.
1. How New Zealand, and in particular government agencies, can help exporters leverage greater value in international markets from our “clean, green” brand.
2. Opportunities for smarter use of existing technologies and innovation, as well as greater development and adoption of new technologies (including clean technologies) in our productive sectors.
3. Options for our small and medium sized businesses to move to a lower carbon economy while sustaining the desired level of productive growth.
The Government set out these topics in Terms of Reference when appointing the Advisory Group in January 2011. In addition to Mr O’Reilly, the Advisory Group has seven members drawn from the business and science communities: Melissa Clark-Reynolds, Whaimutu Dewes, Neville Jordan, Andrew Pearce, Lain Jager, Guy Salmon and Peter Yealands.
The Advisory Group will receive public comments and discuss key issues with decision-makers throughout New Zealand before reporting to the Government on Green Growth policy options under the three topics.
“Green Growth – Issues for New Zealand” is available from www.greengrowth.govt.nz. Comments will be received by the Advisory Group via the website.