New Zealand


  • Service: Advisory, Climate Change and Sustainability Services
  • Type: White paper
  • Date: 10/07/2010


Jamie Sinclair


National Leader - Climate Change and Sustainability Services


+64 9 363 3460

Copenhagen Accord - A view of the work in progress 

The Copenhagen Accord, the outcome of a taxing negotiation process led by national leaders, is regarded as a realistic recognition of the global nature of the challenge that climate change presents and the role that international finance has in resolving it.


This document provides an analysis of the Copenhagen Accord and the impacts it could have on business operations and trade. The Accord should be viewed as a work in progress - as nations move towards a global low carbon economy by 2050


The document:

  • contains statements that will have impacts upon global business operations, trade and investment
  • outlines the basic pathway for a transition to a low carbon global economy.

KPMG New Zealand is here to support businesses' sustainability plans. We can offer you any additional insights or assist with queries.


The Context

The Copenhagen Accord, which New Zealand joined in February 2010, has been largely underestimated by business as it failed to deliver agreement over specified emission reduction targets.


However, it resulted in a powerful agreement by the world’s leaders, including developing and developed nations, that there must be a global, long term response to climate change.


The Accord opens up many opportunities to business and understanding its detail can help business in the race to the top.


There will be major implications. Some of the challenges include:

  • managing your business where carbon is a cost of production
  • understanding the flow on impacts for consumers and their perceptions and decision making
  • operating in a world where carbon emissions creates new and variable levels of border protection.


Economies reliant on manufacturing, resources and services will each be affected differently by the Accord, with these nations and individual companies now challenged to assess its impact and their response.


The Accord statements addressing peaking national emissions and the commitments to implement mitigation strategies create specific challenges for New Zealand’s strongly agrarian-focused economy.


The Global Research Alliance, which met for the first time recently in Wellington, will be very important in this regard.


It is important to take heed to the key aspects of the Accord.


The investment ‘mega trend’ associated with renewable and resource efficient technology that is supported by the details of the Accord creates significant opportunities for New Zealand firms. Firms should be factoring these issues into long term planning.


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