New Zealand missing out on billions in high-value economic growth opportunities

14 December 2012

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Green growth opportunities show New Zealand has the potential to generate billions of dollars in high-value economic growth while improving the country’s environmental performance, a report produced by Business School economists in partnership with lobby group Pure Advantage says.

The report, commissioned by Pure Advantage and the New Zealand Green Growth Research Trust, has identified 21 ways New Zealand could capitalise on a global shift to greener growth.

These include recommendations for forestry, electricity, transport, agriculture, fisheries and tourism. Report head and Energy Education Trust Chair in Energy and Resource Economics Professor Basil Sharp says the report, which includes analysis from London’s Vivid Economics, is expected to be used as a basis to establish, in consultation with industry, green growth programmes.

Some of those include efficient building environments, geothermal exports, sustainable agricultural technologies, bio-energy, smart grids, biofuels, eco-tourism and conservation education programmes.

The six main points of the report are:

  • A green economy may improve wellbeing, but not all policies that improve wellbeing raise the GDP quickly.
  • New Zealand could benefit from global green investment patterns by exporting to nations investing in green assets and technology, and by importing both new technologies and ideas to craft more world-leading policies at home.
  • The economic opportunities are potentially large.
  • Not all global opportunities in the green economy translate into large export opportunities for this country.
  • Potential green growth exports include agricultural products and services, geothermal energy, biotechnology and forestry. In the domestic economy, opportunities include building and transport energy efficiency and electricity grid technology.
  • The opportunities generally require action from both industry and government, but there are steps which businesses and industries can take unilaterally.

Pure Advantage is a non-profit entity chaired by Rob Morrison, Chair of KiwiBank and Morrison & Co. Board members include business leaders Philip Mills, Sir George Fistonich, Rob Fyfe and Sir Stephen Tindall.

Read the full Pure Advantage report