Last week the Carbon Market Institute provided members and guests a unique opportunity to hear from Mary Robinson – one of the world’s most respected human rights advocates, known globally for her leadership as former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change (2014-2015); UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002); and President of Ireland (1990-1997).
Mrs Robinson attended the event in her capacity as President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, where she reflected on the momentous Paris Agreement, and her climate justice priorities after Paris. Following on from her Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute Oration, Mary spoke passionately about the need for business to step up and lead the transition to a low carbon economy, and the global imperative for humanity to move quickly away from fossil fuel consumption and towards renewables.
During the Q&A Session (moderated by CMI Chief Executive Peter Castellas) following her remarks, Mrs Robinson discussed her work with the We Mean Business Coalition in Paris, acknowledging the increasing ambition of the international business community, citing changing consumer patterns as a key demand driver. She stressed the need for more concerted and collaborative political will in Australia, advocating strongly for swift movement on a carbon price and improved market linkages. The dialogue also covered policy developments in China and the US, and the commercial opportunities that could become available through the changing nature of business internationally.
Mrs Robinson closed the session, sharing wisdom learned from Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu: “We’re on the verge of a brighter, better world, and we’re going to get there…I’m not an optimist – I’m a prisoner of hope”.
You can view Mary Robinson’s full Oration below: