Trade and Climate Change Roundtable




On 22 June 2018 CPD and ANU again hosted leaders from government, business, civil society and academia to engage in the Trade and Climate Change Roundtable as part of Centre for Policy Development’s Sustainable Economy Program, on matters relating to Australia’s economy, this time how Australia’s trade policies can adapt to the reality of climate change.

The Trade and Climate Change Roundtable was hosted by ANU Chancellor and former Foreign Minister, the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC and was moderated by Bob McMullan, the former Minister for Trade and Adjunct Professor at the ANU Crawford School. Our two experienced speakers on this occasion were:

  • Craig Emerson (former Australian Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy)
  • Caroline Lambert (European Union’s Climate and Environment Counsellor in Australia; former adviser to European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard)

Discussions from the Trade and Climate Change Roundtable

Craig Emerson opened discussion with the history of global efforts to confront climate change, describing the process from the Kyoto Protocol, through the failed Copenhagen Conference to the recent Paris Agreement. Along the way he discussed at length the problem of ensuring compliance amongst nations with differing economic interests and levels of development, while also discussing how the lack of firm policy action from Australian governments over recent years has left the field open to business as the private sphere attempts to prepare for a future marked by environmental insecurity, strategic risks and changing consumer demands.

Caroline Lambert then spoke on the steps that the EU and its constituent countries have taken to adjust their trade regimes for our climate future, in particular how it can come into play with the negotiation of free trade agreements and how this may play out in upcoming EU-Australia trade negotiations. Caroline also covered some recent policy developments in the EU, including sustainable finance, the circular economy and ETS legislation.

Much of the following group discussion focused on the role that business can play in filling the policy vacuum left by government inactivity on the issue of climate change, as well as consequences for Australia in terms of trade and transition from our nation’s apparent determination to simply react to changes that occur on the global stage, rather than taking a leaf from Europe’s book in attempting to shape and lead those changes.

The Trade and Climate Change Roundtable also touched on:

  • The failure of Australia’s governments to align their action on climate change with regional strategic interests
  • A lack of assessment of risk and opportunities arising regionally from climate change abatement efforts
  • Export and emission targets of developing countries
  • The importance of turning Australia’s notion of adapting and reacting to global policies into shaping them

The opening remarks were followed by a wide-ranging discussion with a diverse and expert audience.

Trade and Climate Change Roundtable

Trade and Climate Change Roundtable Participants

Arjuna Dibley (JSD candidate, Stanford University)

Bob McMullan (Adjunct Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy

Brad Kerin (General Manager & Company Secretary, Carbon Market Institute)

Caroline Lambert (European Union’s Climate and Environment Counsellor in Australia)

Craig Emerson (Former Member of the Australian Parliament and Cabinet Minister)

Dan Cass (Strategist, The Australia Institute)

Emily Gerrard (Director, Comhar Group)

Gareth Evans (Chancellor, Australian National University)

Gavan McFadzean (Director of campaigns and communications, The Greens) 

Grant Harrison (Portfolio Head – Private Markets, Cbus Super Fund)

Hannah Neep (Consultant, McKinsey & Company)

Jack Halligan (Consultant, McKinsey & Company)

Jeanine Hourani (Consulting Analyst, Dandolopartners)

Marian Schoen (Executive Director, University of Melbourne EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges) 

Mark Lawrence (Managing Director, Mark Lawrence Group)

Matt Wenham (Executive Director, Policy, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering)

Megan Flynn (Group Manager – Environment and Carbon Strategy, Qantas)

Orchida Sekarratri (Vice-Consul, Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia)

Paul Sinclair (Director of Campaigns, Australian Conservation Foundation)

Peter Castellas (CEO, Carbon Market Institute)

Rosemary Bissett (Head of Sustainability Governance & Risk, NAB)

Sarah Barker (Special Counsel, MinterEllison) 

Simon Bradshaw (Climate Change Specialist, Oxfam Australia)

Spica A. Tutuhatunewa (Consul-General, Consulate-General of the Republic of Indonesia)

Stephanie Ziersch (Director Communities & Climate Change, Sustainability Victoria)

Steven Skala (Chair, Clean Energy Finance Corporation)

Travers McLeod (CEO, Centre for Policy Development)

CPD would like to thank Gareth Evans and the team at ANU House for hosting Trade and Climate Change Roundtable, and all the participants who contributed to another engaging ANU-CPD Policy Dialogue.