15 Nov 2012

Group to lobby for growth in clean, green industries

7:07 am on 15 November 2012

A group of the country's top business leaders is proposing to set up different industry groups to lobby for more growth in cleaner, greener industries.

Pure Advantage has commissioned a report by Vivid Economics in London and the University of Auckland Business School.

The report says businesses need to start becoming sustainable and adapt to future challenges like climate change.

Pure Advantage has 1500 members, mostly business people, and a dozen trustees including Rob Morrison, Chris Liddell and Rob Fyfe.

Les Mills Group chief executive Phillip Mills says the study has identified 21 opportunities which could help with future shortages of resources which play on the country's strengths, like agriculture and forestry.

But the group needs buy-in from the Government which will have to create policy or a regulatory framework for it to succeed.

But Mr Mills says it's good the initiative is coming from industry in the first instance and there are some big problems.

"If we don't solve them, not only will we continue to slip backwards down the OECD charts in terms of our income and the quality of our lives in this country, but the world will become more and more exposed to risks from things like climate change," he said.

ETS

Earlier this month legislation amending the Emissions Trading Scheme to keep agriculture out of the scheme indefinitely and allow polluters to import unlimited foreign carbon credits narrowly passed its third and final reading in Parliament.

Mr Mills said most business people see renewable and clean green industry as the economic future.

And he personally did not agree with the change, although the issue has not yet been discussed by the group.

Mr Mills says New Zealand needs to concentrate on value-added clean green products, rather than competing at a commodity level with countries that can produce things more cheaply than New Zealand can.