We held the Fourth and fifth Climate and Recovery Initiative roundtables on 3 March and 9 June 2021. As usual, these were held under the Chatham House Rule.
Over the first half of 2021, CPD and our partners have been continuing to convene the Climate & Recovery Initiative (CRI), bringing together senior leaders from across Australia to address the intertwined challenges of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and responding to climate change. Our dedicated page for the Climate & Recovery Initiative has more background information about the initiative and our partners (ClimateWorks Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and Pollination)
Our fourth roundtable on 3 March had a distinctly international flavour, with a presentation from Paul Bodnar, former Senior Director at the US National Security Council and Special Assistant to President Obama on international climate policy. Participants discussed recent developments abroad – such as the Biden Administration’s climate and recovery agenda. There were reflections on how tackling climate change is moving from being a project between nation-states (exemplified through formal negotiations at the UNFCCC) to being a mainstream project of the private sector (exemplified through initiatives like ‘We Are Still In’ in the United States).
Participants also discussed jobs and transition planning in key regions domestically in Australia, including potential models for coordination and cooperation on economic transition. Here, the roundtable reflected on lessons from Germany’s coal transition commission, as well as the recently completed Just Transition Plan in Collie, WA. There were also updates on proposals from previous CRI discussions, including the potential for adding climate risk and resilience to the National Cabinet agenda, and the creation of a Co-Investment Partnership for clean technology market creation.
You can view more information about the event, including an agenda and participant list, by accessing the briefing pack below.
Taking place just days before the G7 summit in Cornwall, the Fifth Climate and Recovery Initiative roundtable built on the previous meeting’s roadmap to COP26 by focussing on: strengthening targets in the long term (2050) and short term (2030), the global acceleration in climate investment and accountability, and asking what’s holding us (and the nation) back from reaching our potential for proactive decarbonisation.
The roundtable incorporated both international and domestic perspectives on climate change policy. Christophe McGlade and Timothy Goodson from the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented findings from the IEA’s landmark report, released in May 2021, laying out a credible pathway to decarbonise global energy systems.
Professor Wing Woo from the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network also provided an insightful international perspective on the role of the corporate sector in leading decarbonisation in South-East Asia. The roundtable then turned its attention to the G7 summit, discussing the work of G7 countries toward achieving net zero and Australia’s strategy in the lead up to COP26.
These opening remarks framed the following discussion, which had a more national focus. Participants highlighted progress in a range of sectors towards net zero targets, but also provided frank and insightful reflections on the work that still needs to be done.
The session concluded with a poll that turned the group’s attention to concrete policy priorities; big efforts that could help Australia achieve a net zero emissions economy that benefits all Australians. Coordination between parties – whether by acting collectively to set bolder 2030 goals, or by having states work on national policy harmonisation – were clear winners.
Further information on the roundtable, including an agenda, participants and discussion points is available in the briefing pack below. The CRI will continue to be active throughout 2021.
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