by Peter Castellas, Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Market Institute.
This was the answer given to me when I had the chance to ask Christiana Figures at CMI’s Summit in 2015 in the lead up to the Paris COP21, how she was approaching bringing the countries of the world together to get a global agreement. Which she did.
I think a serious dose of optimism is required this year as we enter the first stages of the national climate policy review process.
Sure, there is always plenty of reasons to be pessimistic in dealing with climate change in Australia, including; we have been through so many interactions of climate policy, the concerns about what this 2017 review will deliver, the power of the anti-climate change forces that populate some parliamentary seats, that the way some quarters of the press continue to push climate skepticism and of course the global wildcard of what President Trump might do.
However, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Here are a few:
- Many leading businesses are setting strategies and goals to align with a 2 degree world – irrespective of domestic policy setting.
- The Australian States and cities are defining ambitious policy goals and encouraging public/private investment in low carbon sectors and solutions.
- Our carbon abatement sector has deep competency and generating real projects, real jobs, and real emissions reductions that can be significantly scaled to meet future market demands.
- The global finance and investment community is orientating to provide the capital to clean energy and requiring greater disclosure on climate risk.
- Technology innovation, commercialisation and deployment is driving down the costs and increasing the uptake of clean energy and technology solutions.
- The global momentum to implement the Paris Agreement and commitments from Parties to meet emissions reduction goals is unstoppable (and Trump proof).
- Carbon pricing is getting traction on many economies and the world’s biggest carbon market is going to start this year in our biggest trading partner, China.
We have hundreds of years of expertise in CMI’s membership in dealing with all facets of the complex challenges of climate change.
This could, and should, be an exciting phase in the evolution of the wonderful world of climate change in Australia and how we align our economic, environmental and social goals.