The seventh roundtable of the Climate and Recovery Initiative, on Friday 19 November 2021, was held directly after a public forum on Climate, Capital Markets and Global Governance. The UNFCCC COP26 concluded just days beforehand with a global call for increased ambition; participants in the roundtable were eager to discuss what the next phase of action would look like in Australia.
Leaders from government, business, and civil society were joined by special guests from the preceding public forum: Steven Kennedy, Secretary of the Australian Treasury, and Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Macquarie Bank, to reflect on developments on climate change in Australia. Participants acknowledged the opportunities and challenges ahead and the need to coordinate in taking action against climate change.
The CRI was established in May 2020 to align Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with a transition to net zero carbon emissions. The Initiative is coordinated by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) and ClimateWorks Australia, with a steering group that includes the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), and Pollination. Since its establishment, the initiative has consistently put at the forefront the need for Australia – governments, private sector and individuals – to respond to and join the efforts towards global decarbonisation.
The group was optimistic about the progress made at COP26 and the actions taken by various governments and organisations to speed up the fight against climate change. With hydrogen identified as a major energy source at COP26, the group saw an opportunity for Australia to be a major exporter – although not without global competition. While the hard work of agreeing a common 2050 goal is done, it must translate into actions. Participants were glad to see bipartisanship on long-term goals, but the private sector can only take short-term actions if supported by governments.
After the discussion, the group identified new areas to focus on, with private, state and federal government coordination being the most likely option as a focus area.
Further information on the roundtable, including an agenda, participants and discussion points, is available in the meeting pack below.
|Roundtable Seven Meeting Pack||Participant List|