CMI’s annual business sentiment survey

CMI conducts an annual survey of attitudes in Australian business and industry towards international and domestic climate policy, carbon markets and pricing, and corporate climate risk, disclosure and strategy. It has been running since 2014. The survey is of individuals in business not as representatives of their company. We target c-suite & senior management roles, and those who work for companies with National Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting obligations.

The 2021 edition

The 2021 Australian Climate Policy Survey was published on Monday 11th October, 2021.

Several new questions were added in 2021 to reflect changes in climate policy domestically and globally. New questions covered the International Energy Agency (IEA) Net-Zero 2050 Report milestones, global capital flows and the prioritisation of countries and companies with decarbonisation policies and actions, corporate emissions reduction targets, co-benefit frameworks, and domestic voluntary carbon markets. We also asked about barriers to investment, not just drivers.

The starkest changes in data, when comparing year-on-year results, relate to future predictions of a higher 2030 carbon price, an increase in the number of companies factoring in a carbon price, and growing recognition in organisations at board and executive management levels of the material financial and strategic risks posed by climate change.

Results show that the vast majority of business respondents support net zero emissions by 2050 and stronger 2030 targets. With most of Australia’s key trading partners already committed to net zero, and to 2030 cuts twice to three times as deep as Australia’s, concern about carbon border tariff adjustments is growing.

The survey was sent to a wide database of senior executives and employees working for businesses with a large emissions profile, to investors, carbon project developers, carbon market experts and professional service providers.

This year we received a surge in responses with 409 individuals completing the survey, compared to 234 in 2020. CMI would like to thank all respondents for participating. Over the last 12 months, the CMI has also experienced an upsurge in its membership (up 36% this financial year), as Australian corporate interest and activity in carbon markets and climate action increases.

Previous survey reports

CMI’s 2020 Australian Climate Policy Survey reveals business sentiment is growing for Australia to set a nationwide net-zero emissions target by 2050. 88% of respondents believe Australia’s long-term strategy should include a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, in 2019 this was 83%.

There was a significant surge in concern about carbon border tariff adjustments from trading partners for Australia’s emissions intensive economy and exports, in 2019 this was at 70%, in 2020 this has jumped to 79%. Opposition to the use of the internationally and domestically controversial Kyoto carryover units also rose to 79%, from 76% in 2019.

Over three quarters, 76%, of respondents believe the Australian Government is not sufficiently integrating climate goals in its COVID recovery plans.

The Carbon Market Institute’s 2019 Australian Climate Policy Survey reveals widespread concern about the adequacy of current policy, with 94% of respondents indicating that Australia’s current policy suite is insufficient to support reductions to meet our initial 2030 Paris commitment, an increase from 92% in 2018.

Asked for the first time, 96% of respondents believe that the longer Australia delays decarbonisation, the more abrupt, forceful and disruptive the policy response will need to be, especially for carbon-intensive industries.

There is an opportunity to address this in 2020 with the Climate Change Authority reviewing Australia’s policy toolkit and the Government reviewing the operation of its Safeguard Mechanism and developing a technology roadmap as part of a Long-Term Strategy.

The Carbon Market Institute’s (CMI) 2018 National Climate Policy Survey reveals insights from the Australian business community that highlight how climate and energy policy must evolve to meet our Paris Agreement targets and to future-proof the Australian economy.

Australia ratified the Paris Agreement in November 2016 with a National Determined Contribution (NDC) target of 26-28% emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2030. It is clear through the CMI Australian Climate Policy Survey 2018 that Australian business and industry want this ambition increased to an economy-wide, net zero target by 2050 and have policies in place that will enable Australia to meet its current and future Paris Agreement targets.