Daily preview and previous day wrap of the 7th Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit

Welcome to the daily preview and previous day wrap of the 7th Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit.

There was strong engagement in all plenary and workshop sessions, many of the exhibition booths got great participation and there were over 500 networking meetings, and that isn’t counting private connections made!

Today’s highlights:

There’s a brief wrap of the sessions from yesterday below, and of media generated, today’s highlights include:

CMI will announce our new role as the in-country partner for IETA’s Markets for Natural Climate Solutions Initiative, establishing a taskforce to lead Australian private-sector engagement with global nature-based carbon markets. 

We’ll also launch the first of our carbon farming case studies produced for the Clean Energy Regulator.

Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, will give the Christiana Figueres Oration.

This follows the release last night of latest Production Gap Report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and today’s launch of a new Greenpeace report on climate change in the Pacific.

Other international speakers at the Summit today include:

  • Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister for the Economy, Fiji
  • Kay Harrison, Climate Change Ambassador, New Zealand
  • Zhang Xiliang, Tsinghua University
  • Duncan Van Bergen, vice president Nature Based Solutions, Shell
  • Kelley Kizzier, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Stephen Donofrio, EcoSystem Marketplace  
  • Dirk Forrister, International Emissions Trading Association 

There’s also many talented Australian speakers!

Media highlights

The Summit has been generating big hits on the front pages and in the business sections, a selection:

SMH/AGE – FIGUERES

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/world-awaits-action-by-suicidal-australia-says-former-climate-chief-20201201-p56joj.html

SMH – SHARMA

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/shayne-elliott-says-anz-cutting-customers-over-climate-change/news-story/97a37ef057fd7be1dbf8c21f580c9746?btr=8324ff7dfc93b3d1bd53b4b11c250273

AFR – SHAYNE ELLIOTT

https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/anz-s-50b-a-drop-in-ocean-of-sustainable-capital-elliott-20201202-p56jyo

FIFTH ESTATE – CANNON-BROOKES

RENEW – SHARMA

https://reneweconomy.com.au/uk-climate-chief-and-cop26-president-piles-new-pressure-on-morrison-on-zero-carbon-target-52873/

Day 1 Wrap

Day 1 began with the grim acknowledgement that the climate crisis is really a leadership crisis.  

The Women in Climate networking pre-session panellists pointed out the need for transformational leadership in the climate space, calling on Indigenous and young women in particular to be front and centre. They also advised all women to use their superpower of bringing people from all levels together to help navigate barriers to climate action.

A traditional welcome to country from Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owner Keith Pabai reminded us that the climate crisis is real, happening now costing livelihoods, homes and sacred places and Keith asked us to join their struggle.

Carbon Market Institute CEO John Connor officially kicked off the Summit noting “In this crisis we are all Islanders, we are all in an ocean of trouble, but also an ocean of opportunity.” He said the Summit was a chance to reflect on all that is exciting, frustrating and terrifying and to showcase those who are “accelerating to zero”. 

In his opening remarks, COP 29 President-Delegate Alok Sharma highlighted Australia’s states and territories for their net zero by 2050 commitments, then quickly urged “all of you who have not already done so, to join the race to zero campaign.”

Christiana Figueres from Mission 2020 was not quite as diplomatic, calling the Federal government’s position on climate change “suicidal” and reflecting on Australia’s “completely unstable, volatile, unpredictable stand and position on climate change.” She too highlighted the opportunities for Australia.

While Prof Jim Skea from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change brought us up to speed with the latest climate science projections and their technology implications, Fiona Reynolds from the UN Principles of Responsible Investment declared that sustainability is the future of finance.  While praising corporate action on climate, she also called on more investors to set net zero targets. 

Laura Cozzi, Chief Energy Modeller with the International Energy Agency related discussions with China about how it will achieve net-zero by 2060 as putting a carbon pricing mechanism “very much front and centre”, which would create “a huge new carbon market in the world.”

In the next panel discussion ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott responded to the backlash the bank received when it announced its new climate lending policy recently.  Shayne noted ANZ hasn’t received any pushback from customers. He shared the “more disclosure, less exposure” catchphrase but also described the detailed transition work ANZ is doing with customers.

Atlassian CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes noted this approach to lending “isn’t voodoo anymore” and shared Atlassian’s certification under the Science Based Targets Initiative.

After a spirited exchange BP’s Dominic Emery noted BP’s pivot to greater investments, talked about the need for scope 3 reductions and the importance of real-time measurements of methane emissions.

The first of three concurrent sessions continued the corporate leadership theme, with panellists advising their audience to find advocates within their business that genuinely care about climate, not just sitting in a climate role, in order to build momentum on company activities and commitments.

The second concurrent session looked at the co-benefits of carbon farming, with nature-based solutions becoming big business, and a measure that can be led by the knowledge and expertise of indigenous communities but only if a sped-up, more sophisticated discussion around the value of nature and co-benefits is had.

While the third concurrent session heard ways that the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative is making sense of the ‘alphabet soup’ of initiatives, frameworks and standards to help the financial sector adjust to the ‘new normal’.

The closing plenary looked at the shift from climate disclosure to action and noted that if anything the COVID pandemic has heightened the focus of investors on “fat tail” (lower probability higher consequence) risks. 

All these plenary and workshop sessions were recorded and will be available to summit delegates.

We closed the day with a hilarious Good, Bad and Ugly Session.

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