Adrian Orr: Progressing climate action by driving transformational change

Speech by Mr Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, to the 2020 Pacific Ocean, Pacific Climate Change Conference, 28 October 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
04 November 2020


Kia orana koutou, talofa lava.

Thank you to the organisers - the Government of Samoa, Victoria University of Wellington, the National University of Samoa, and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme - for the opportunity to contribute to the conversation on how to progress climate action for the people of the Pacific. Today I've been asked:

How do we make transformational change to manage climate risks in the Pacific?

This is an important, difficult, and urgent question. To promote transformational change, the issue that needs addressing must be convincingly important, imminent, and personal. Our recent history - and lack of collective action - has highlighted how difficult it is to ignite this sense of urgency for climate change transformation.

Climate change transformation will involve developing and implementing renewable energy strategies, 'greening' the financial system, and managing economic and social adaptation. A full suite of plans and activities is necessary for such a significant task. But they also need to be viewed as real and tangible - not abstract and intellectual.