Australian Business Summit organized in support of Race To Zero
The UK, in partnership with the government of New South Wales, virtually hosted (Wednesday 22 September) leading members of the Australian business community to discuss climate action.
Large companies across the economy have expressed their commitment to greater climate action and their shared ambition to keep 1.5 degrees of global temperature rise within reach. This included several signatories to the UN-backed Race To Zero (R2Z) initiative, as well as a number of companies from Australia’s growing cohort of organizations committed to achieving net zero emissions.
The virtual summit was an important step on the way to the next UN climate conference COP26, to be held in Glasgow in November. COP26 will bring together governments from all corners of the world, making ambitious commitments to reduce emissions, global green finance, adaptation and resilience, and international collaboration on climate solutions.
British High Commissioner to Australia HE Vicki Treadell said:
Looking to the future, we need to identify the key areas of growth that will allow us to build a prosperous, low-carbon economy. It requires vision and aspirations on the part of all players in the economy.
What is clear to me as a keen observer of this great country is the immense economic opportunity to tackle climate change and become a global leader in the key clean industries of the future. There is an almost unprecedented opportunity to create jobs and growth at the national level, and also to produce the key inputs needed to decarbonize economies around the world. The opportunity is there to be seized.
More than 100 people from companies across the country have signed up to hear the esteemed panel and members of R2Z explain why they are committed to the initiative. They represented the diversity of Australia’s industry – from healthcare to retail, finance to engineering, unified in a common understanding that effective climate policy must be at the heart of their business.
NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean said:
Australia and New South Wales in particular have huge opportunities to grow our economy as the world decarbonises.
We are not just a sunburnt country, we are a sun-blessed country, and it is up to us to take advantage of this competitive advantage and secure the economic and employment benefits for our citizens so that we may we protect our planet, our prosperity and our way of life.
Sam Mostyn, President of Chief Executive Women, chaired an expert panel of Australian leaders on the challenges of formulating a credible emissions reduction plan and the influence it has had on their relationships with stakeholders throughout their value chain. The CEOs of Macquarie, Lendlease and Origin have offered advice to companies at all stages of their journey towards a resilient and climate-friendly operating model.
Origin CEO Frank Calabria said:
Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and demonstrating a clear and credible path to this goal is a vital challenge for all businesses and the energy sector will be essential as we progressively decarbonize the energy we provide and support our customers. reduce emissions in their businesses. .
As an energy company, we recognize the crucial role we must play in providing clean forms of energy and facilitating emission reductions in other sectors.
Macquarie CEO Shemara Wikramanayake said:
We are at an inflection point for climate change, which is the defining challenge of our time. Science tells us that there is a finite carbon budget and that we are not on track to reach previously agreed milestones. This has forced governments, regions, cities, businesses, investors, regulators and financial institutions to come together to coordinate a growing level of activity in line with net zero.
Macquarie is committed to delivering solutions to accelerate emissions reductions from energy, waste, agriculture, real estate and transportation.
Lendlease Australia CEO Dale Connor said:
We are committed to leading the evolution of our industry to be truly sustainable – environmentally, socially, and economically, and we see this as fundamental to creating the best places for people today and for them. generations to come.
The road to zero carbon is a global challenge, and global partnership and collaboration is the only way to achieve these goals and support industry transformation.
Australia has the third highest number of Race To Zero members in the world. It shows how Australian businesses, subnational governments and universities are committed to playing their part in tackling global climate change.
COP26 envoy John Murton said:
Every nation, every company, every investor, every city and region must act with conviction to fulfill its commitments in the fight against climate change and to keep alive the prospect of limiting the rise in global temperatures by more than 1.5 degrees.
By acting both nationally and internationally through national governments, as well as individuals and businesses, we can make our recovery from COVID-19 one that builds a better future. One with green jobs, cleaner air and growing prosperity.
High-level UN climate action champion Nigel Topping said:
So far, thanks to our Race To Zero and government commitments, over 70% of global emissions are covered by net zero commitments. But it will come nowhere if it is not supported by real vision, leadership and the belief that the first actors in climate action will ultimately reap the benefits of their leadership.
Race To Zero is a global campaign to mobilize the leadership and support of businesses, cities, regions and investors for a healthy, resilient and zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs and paves the way for inclusive and sustainable growth. It has more than 5,000 members worldwide, including approximately 3,200 commercial members. It is a UN-led initiative that seeks to give credibility to subnational climate action through the sharing of expertise and verification of climate action.
The UK is the chair of the next UN climate conference, COP26 in Glasgow in November. As president of COP26, the UK has four main goals; secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees close at hand; adapt to protect communities and natural habitats; mobilize funding; and working together for climate action in areas such as energy, transport and nature-based solutions.
To contact the UK High Commission for Climate-Related Media Inquiries, please contact [email protected] or 0416 645 857.