The First and Second Climate and Recovery Initiative roundtable brings together prominent leaders from government, business and civil society to identify the best ideas for aligning Australia’s economic recovery with a transition towards a net zero emissions economy, and to get them into the right hands.
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.
Working together since May 2020, the group has hosted three large stakeholder roundtables, convening senior officials from the Commonwealth and state governments alongside leaders from industry, unions, community organisations, think tanks and academia. Participants include representatives from the Business Council of Australia, AiGroup, ACTU, the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Australian Council of Social Services, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
The Initiative was formed in recognition that Australia faces two generation-defining challenges: recovering from the coronavirus pandemic and responding to climate change. These challenges are intertwined. Investments in climate resilience and net zero ambition today can turbocharge Australia’s recovery and position the country for stronger and more sustainable economic growth in the years ahead. The group is focused on both job-creating stimulus opportunities and broader policy changes that could sustain national collaboration on systemic risks like climate change.
Please note that the attached documents were prepared by the roundtable organisers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the individuals or organisations present at the roundtable.
At the first Climate and Recovery Initiative Roundtable on 25 June 2020, participants shared frank insights and discussed opportunities to better align Australia’s economic recovery with climate and transition priorities. The discussion centred on three priority areas:
The agenda and participant list from the first roundtable are available below, along with a framing paper prepared for the discussion.
At the Second Climate and Recovery Initiative Roundtable on 8 September 2020, participants discussed policy proposals including new processes on climate risk and resilience to inform the National Cabinet and an Australian Clean Technology Market-Creation Co-Investment Partnership. The proposals received encouraging support from a range of participants. Further detail on these proposals is available below, along with the agenda and participant list from the second roundtable.
Two research papers developed to inform the second roundtable are also available below. The first identifies opportunities to create decarbonisation-aligned jobs in employment regions that have been doubly disadvantaged by long-term high unemployment and worse-than-average impacts from COVID-19. The second analyses global green technology patent activity, finding that Australia performs well among global peers in green innovation.
The Climate and Recovery Initiative will continue for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, with key windows including the formation of the 2021-22 Federal Budget and the lead up to COP26 in November 2021.
Participants at the Second Climate and Recovery Initiative Roundtable discussed two proposed processes on climate risk and resilience that could support better coordination between state and federal governments and the private sector in the new federation structures to replace the Council of Australian Governments. The first model would incorporate an explicit focus on climate risk and resilience as part of the Council of Federal Financial Relations, which reports to the National Cabinet. This would help Treasurers and officials address climate risks and the need to build climate resilience as part of the broader economy policy agenda.
The second would establish a new forum or taskforce on climate risk and resilience, which would include senior government officials, financial regulators, and leaders from business and civil society. The taskforce would advise the government on opportunities to enable sustainable jobs, growth and investment in a challenging natural environment, informed by the implications of climate change for financial stability, risk management and corporate governance.
Participants also discussed a proposed Australian Clean Technology Market-Creation Co-Investment Partnership (CIP). The CIP is a model for providing financing to scale up supply chain responses in clean technology markets across Australia in order to enable decarbonisation across all sectors of the economy. It could be implemented as a partnership between the Commonwealth Government and the state and territory governments, whereby state and territory government program investment, traditionally through the form of grants, could be better coordinated to leverage co-financing investment contributions from the Australian Government and attract private investment.
Investment opportunities would be identified using a multi-sector goal-oriented approach, using ‘reverse auction’ style competitive rounds. This model would collectively leverage a greater amount of private sector capital, delivering bigger economic and employment impacts, lowering economy-wide emissions and leading to greater resilience of the Australian economy.
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