Australian business stands ready to work with policy and civil society leaders to scale up and deliver economy-wide action on a national energy and climate transition.
With the convening of the UN Climate Summit late today at UN Headquarters in New York City, the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia (BCSD Australia) is calling for a new collaborative effort with policymakers to transition Australia to a net-zero and climate-resilient economy.
With recent observations questioning the role of companies in 21st century society, BCSD Australia notes that business and capital markets are addressing societal challenges, such as climate change, as core to them improving their non-financial performance, reassess risk management approaches, and integration into board’s fiduciary duty so as to create current and future shareholder value, and make capitalism work for all.
”Taking action on climate change is one of this century’s most significant economic imperatives and opportunities,” said Dr John Hewson, Chair of BCSD Australia.
“The BCSD Australia membership recognises that Australia’s transition to a net-zero economy is the only way to avoid long-term disruption to our national economy, secure economic growth and deliver prosperity for all Australians.
“We need to bring ideas, best practices and lessons learned from every corner of the world where businesses, investors, national and local policymakers and everyday people can bring their voice to the table,” said Dr Hewson.
In the Climate Action Statement released today, BCSD Australia proposes seven commitments which could provide input on enabling policy frameworks:
Net-zero: A roadmap for Australia to deliver emission reductions at scale
Energy: Create a net-zero energy system for Australia, including making gains on energy efficiency and productivity
Urban mobility: Reimagine cities and transportation with new commitments on low-emission buildings and delivery models for mass transport infrastructure
Land: Reduce deforestation and increase the carrying capacity and resilience of our national forestry, agriculture, oceans and food systems
Industry: Initiatives to cut Australian industry’s carbon footprint
Enablers: Build climate resilient companies
Resilience: Build capacity to manage the impacts of climate change
“Climate action is everyone’s business, not just the Australian Government’s. There are already significant business driven low-emissions activities across the real economy, resulting in the deployment of renewables, electric vehicles and energy efficiency and productivity initiatives in building stock and across industry," said Dr Hewson.
"This momentum can be accelerated if business is engaged in the development of Australia’s climate plans.”