CMI Update

Welcome to a new year bristling with promise and momentum in private and public policy, the likes of which haven’t been seen for at least half a decade.

The Paris Agreement was forged on a re-assessment of national interest in climate action but national public policy development was then largely side-swiped by the surprise Trump election. In December last year we saw how that was righting itself as the UK, EU, China, Japan and South Korea all emerged with stronger commitments and with explicit equation of climate and economic action.

This economic framing, and reality, has been emphatically re-inforced by the opening actions of the Biden Presidency. The President’s Executive Orders will ensure there will be wave after wave of analysis, policy and targets from US foreign affairs, economic and other agencies this year.

The US President and COP26 host UK P.M. Boris Johnson have made clear they will be urging commitments to net-zero emissions by 2050 and greater 2030 ambition at global events from the President’s 22 April Leaders Summit through to Glasgow in early November. The US is likely to commit to a new 2030 target by April.

Prime Minister Morrison has today re-asserted the priority that his government gives to clean technology deployment and a preference for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. While there was progress on the former in 2020, we need faster national policy evolution. CMI’s Advocacy Position on Public Policy and Voluntary Carbon Markets developed in consultation with our members signposts how carbon market reforms and other policy can help technology deployment at the necessary scale.

The calls for greater clarity and urgency on targets for Australia and other nations will continue to grow through 2021. The report by the Climate Targets Panel, updating CCA analysis (shared below) suggest that 2030 and 2035 targets for Australia will need to be at least 50% and 67% respectively.

This will need significant ramping up of private as well as public policy. As also noted below, the report of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets indicated the need for at least 15-fold scaling of voluntary, let alone compliance, markets by 2030. 2021 will see further focus on the importance of voluntary or private carbon markets and policy as well as on the taxonomy and integrity standards applied.

Private policy action, like state and city policy, have been far less affected by Trump’s rise and fall – indeed arguably spurred by them. The challenge of 2021 is to better align the engines of private and public policy with the urgency required.

CMI has a very busy program of research, capacity building and advocacy to assist this in 2021. Our Carbon Conversations will be back from 19 February and we have accelerated the 2021 Australasian Emission Reduction Summit “Destination Zero and Beyond” on our agenda to indicative dates of 24 and 25 June.

We’ve already had a lot of interest in sponsorship for this Summit and with limited opportunities I recommend you act now if you want to be associated with this premier business and climate action event.

Last but not least, 2021 is CMI’s 10th anniversary and we are proud to be working with almost 100 corporate and associate members on the transition to net-zero emissions. For the benefits of membership please check out our 2021 membership prospectus.

Stay safe and best wishes for the year ahead.

John Connor
Carbon Market Institute

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