Emissions reduction commitments laid bare

Tuesday, 11 June, 2019

Emissions reduction commitments laid bare

A new initiative will track emissions reduction commitments made by Australian companies, governments and organisations on a single national platform. Launched by ClimateWorks Australia, and working within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, the Net Zero Momentum Tracker will collate data and analyse and communicate information relating to emissions reduction pledges.

ClimateWorks Australia Chief Executive Officer Anna Skarbek said the Net Zero Momentum Tracker aims to highlight the large organisations that are bringing net-zero emissions plans into their business strategies across all sectors of the Australian economy.

“Many major global companies have made it part of their business strategy to shift to net-zero emissions. Australia now has companies and governments doing the same, but lacks an easily accessible place to see all of these,” she said.

“Currently, organisations can announce their emissions reduction plans in public statements or sustainability reports or by signing up to pledge platforms such as We Mean Business or the RE100 initiative. The diverse ways that organisations make these announcements means that the full picture of Australian organisations’ commitments towards net-zero emissions is not well understood or recognised.”

Skarbek explained that the initiative aims to bring together information about Australian organisations’ efforts to reduce their emissions in line with the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, as required by Australia’s commitment under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Monash University’s Net Zero Program Director Scott Ferraro described the growing momentum for net-zero emissions among organisations. Monash has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2030, supported by a shift to 100% renewable energy to power all its Australian campuses.

“Monash’s first-hand experience has shown that reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement can help organisations reduce costs, minimise climate risks and grasp new opportunities,” he said.

“Companies are beginning to embed climate mitigation strategies into their business model and are making this known publicly to their customers, investors and regulators.

“This Net Zero Momentum Tracker will help others see that these decisions are being made across different sectors of businesses and industry bodies and government jurisdictions.”

Many organisations have already made net-zero emissions pledges that are aligned, or close to aligned, with the Paris Agreement expectation of net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier. These include Origin Energy, Toyota, Stockland, Commonwealth Bank and Meat & Livestock Australia.

Stockland General Manager of Sustainability and Corporate Procurement Davina Rooney said it would be helpful to see the community of businesses and other organisations in Australia that are incorporating the net-zero emissions goal into their strategies.

“Net-zero emissions is the end goal of the Paris Agreement and my company understands that it’s essential to the future of the company and the planet that we achieve the Paris goal,” she said.

“By showing who else has already embedded this into their plans, the Net Zero Momentum Tracker will help to motivate others and allow us to learn from each other.”

The online database of emissions reduction commitments will be operational later this year.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Sweet Mango

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