Attending the CMI Summit was an energising and inspiring end to the year

Attending the CMI Summit was an energising and inspiring end to the year, and I am proud that the NSW Government was the host sponsor. There was a real buzz in the air, no doubt due in part to it being the first time for many to be at an in-person event in a very long time. But it wasn’t just that. There was a tangible sense of optimism and a feeling that we are on the cusp of deep and systemic action on climate change. It is amazing how this community manages to hold great hope at the same time as a deep understanding of the reality of the twin climate and nature crises we are facing.

A strong message throughout the event was that all solutions need to be on the table. We need technologies that can deliver or enable abatement; we need broad-base capacity building so people know how to take action; we need strong markets and private sector investment so action is valued monetarily; and we need Government policies and investment to smooth the transition. The feeling at the Summit was that these pieces were increasingly in place, and our challenge now is to build and strengthen the linkages, making sure the enabling mechanisms are in place and the roadblocks are removed, one by one.   

In his Opening Address at the Summit, Treasurer | Minister for Energy & Environment, Matt Kean said the NSW Government will soon be announcing a Primary Industries Productivity and Abatement Program as part of our Net Zero Plan Stage One: 2020-2030. This program will include a range of initiatives to support the primary industries and land sector to decarbonise. You will hear more on this soon, and of course, we are interested in working with all of you to make this a success, so please reach out with your insights and ideas.

A point made at the Women in Climate breakfast resonated strongly with me on a personal level. We need to shift our mindset. Those of us working in this area are so used to fighting – fighting to be heard, fighting to be taken seriously, and fighting to get climate action front and centre where it needs to be. Now we have got climate action firmly on the agenda in a lot of contexts – boardrooms, government decision-making, on-ground land, and resource management. We need to shift now to a facilitator role – how do we harness this momentum and turn it into timely, sensible action?

Someone said to me “we are pushing at an open door”. Let’s get this done.

Jen Hearn
Manager, Net Zero Land
Department of Planning, Industry & Environment
Contact: Netzero.land@environment.nsw.gov.au

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