Westpac report shows benefits to action on climate change - Manufacturing is the answer

4 April 2018

A Westpac NZ Climate Change Impact Report issued today highlights, among other things, the critical role manufacturing will play in adapting to climate change and reducing carbon emissions while providing sustainable growth.  The report also reinforces the risks climate change holds for other sectors that currently play a key role in our economy, such as tourism and agriculture.

The report compares a “central scenario”, where we act faster and have a smoother path to reduce emissions, and a “shock scenario”, where our response is delayed and finally driven by a shock which forces very rapid action. Westpac estimate the central scenario saves the New Zealand economy $30 billion in GDP and a 32% lower carbon price by 2050, compared to the shock scenario.” says Dr Dieter Adam, CE, The Manufacturers’ Network.

“The report estimates growth over time for various sectors. One of their graphs (figure 5) shows that manufacturing and renewable energy generation are the only sectors in our economy able to grow significantly if we want to reach the target of net zero carbon emission by 2050.

“This report further confirms two key points: acting now on climate change will reduce future cost and help create a smoother transition, and that to sustain quality economic growth throughout this change we need to focus on improving our high-value sectors which can produce more growth from less emissions.

“Manufacturing can provide the sustainable and more emission efficient growth we need to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. As such, the report only confirms what we’ve known since the work Sir Paul Callaghan and others have done in the past to show that the path to greater wealth for New Zealand must involve a shift to more high-value products and services.” Said Dr Adam.