CMI’s annual business sentiment survey

The CMI Australian Business Climate Survey surveys attitudes of Australian business and industry annually to gauge views on international and domestic policy, carbon markets and pricing, and corporate climate risk, disclosure and strategy.

Now in its 9th year, the Australian Business Climate Survey provides the latest insights into Australian business leaders’ views towards Australia’s evolving climate policy, as well as shining a light on the actions of the business community in leading the transition to net zero and beyond.

The 2023 edition

The 2023 Australian Climate Policy Survey was published on Tuesday 12th September, 2023.

Following an eventful last 12 months involving a series of landmark domestic climate policy reforms alongside a global economic transition and several key international voluntary and compliance-based policy developments, the survey continues to take on even greater importance. While the survey includes some trend-based questions of previous years, many questions have been adjusted to reflect the implementation of these domestic and international policy changes, and therefore do not include comparative data.

Survey data reflects a broad market perspective, with a total of 301 respondents – an increase on last year. 61% of these were Senior Executives, C-Suite, or Board Members, 57% were CMI Members, and 14% of respondents worked for an organisation covered by the Safeguard Mechanism.

The Survey was conducted electronically over a four-week period, and was sent to a wide database of employees, working for entities engaged in climate policy and carbon markets across the full spectrum of the supply chain. We thank all respondents for their participation and note respondents were asked to give their personal views as individual employees, not necessarily those of their organisation.

Previous survey reports

CMI’s 2022 Australian Climate Policy Survey reflected a transformational year in climate policy and business action domestically and globally, with several new questions been added to the Survey in 2022. These delved deeper into Australia’s climate ambition, drew out perspectives on key reforms including the Safeguard Mechanism and ACCU Review, considered the impact and opportunities associated with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, as well as the actions of the business community in leading the transition to net zero and beyond.

Results showed strong long-term ambition from the majority of businesses, with some medium-term conservatism reflecting the shifting policy landscape.


CMI’s 2021 Australian Climate Policy Survey revealed 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 showed 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 was growing.

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.