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Global business community concerned net-zero not enough to tackle climate change threat

[1 November | Sydney]

The global business community, including those in Australia, is concerned that meeting net-zero targets will not be sufficient to address the threat of climate change, according The Climate Confidence Barometer, a benchmark to measure climate confidecent of the global business community, release by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBSCD) and freuds.

The Barometer also revealed that only 61% of respondents expect Australia to meet their net zero targets by 2050. In comparison, 91% believe Europe will achieve their targets and 71% are confident North America will reach theirs.

On a positive note, 98% of WBSCD members surveyed are confident that their own business will meet net zero targets by 2050. However, when asked about businesses globally that figure dropped to 55%.

“Despite high levels of confidence in their own ability to meet net zero targets, most of the members surveyed are concerned these actions along will not be enough,” Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Australia CEO Andrew Petersen said. “Over half (59%) do not think that meeting net zero targets by 2050 will be sufficient to tackle climate change.”

At the same time only 25% said they have confidence that political leaders are on track to tackle climate change. “Just this week, Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) Australia wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison urging him to use the G20 Summit in Italy to call for greater ambition by all G20 countries on climate action,” said Andrew Petersen.

The Climate Confidence Barometer (download) calculates how confident the global business community is in the world’s ability to combat climate change. The results are based on responses from WBCSD members from across the globe, including Australia, whose membership includes the world’s leading businesses representing revenue of USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees.

The survey comes after the UN’s emissions gap report for 2021, published this week, revealed that current commitments will result in a 2.7C temperature increase above pre-industrial levels by 2100, breaking both Paris Agreement pathways.

“The Barometer showed that the attitude among members to tackle climate change has changed significantly. Five years ago, just 5% of members said that taking action was beneficial to their bottom line. Today, that number has increased almost six-fold to 29%, while 73% said climate action will be a cost benefit to their business within the next five years,” Andrew Petersen highlighted.

Other outcomes included:

· 57% of respondents said their companies are on schedule to meet their net zero targets

· 27% are ahead of schedule to meet their targets

· 64% said their progress on meeting their net zero targets has been accelerated by Covid-19

Respondents also revealed they had more confidence moving their business towards net zero in some areas compared to others, with progress likely faster in changing their car fleets to electric vehicles, shifting their energy source to 100% renewable, and accurately reporting progress.

However, confidence was lower in key areas, including ensuring their supply chain is sustainable, implementing carbon pricing, and incentivizing suppliers to make commitments to meet net zero targets.

Download the Climate Confidence Barometer here.

Media contact

Leigh Murray, Spotlight Commmunications

About BCSD Australia

BSCD Australia is an Australian coalition of over 70 private and public organisations advocating for progress on sustainable development. Its mission is to be a catalyst for innovation and sustainable growth in a world where resources are increasingly limited. The Council provides a platform for companies to share experiences and best practices on sustainable development issues and advocate for their implementation, working with governments, non-governmental and intergovernmental organisations.

BCSD Australia’s members include leading Australian businesses, from all sectors, who share a commitment to economic, environmental and social development, public sector enterprises institutions, business and industry non-government organisations and community organisations, which in turn represent more than 100,000 Australian employees.

For further information contact: Andrew Petersen, CEO, Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia, +61 412 545 994

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