In April 2016 over 170 countries came together in New York City to sign the historic Paris Climate Change Agreement. It was a significant moment – the largest ever signing ceremony for an international treaty – and commits all countries that signed it (including Australia) to reducing carbon emissions to help limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 – 2.0 oC.
Australia now has to put a plan in place for getting to net zero emissions before 2050. This is going require a very significant structural change as the economy adjusts to a low carbon future. This scale of the emissions reductions that will be required to achieve the Paris targets cannot be achieved by the Federal Government alone, business must also help drive down carbon emissions in the economy.
CEOs and business owners must see climate change as a business challenge and an opportunity. Firms that ignore climate change issues run the risk that things like transport and energy costs increase and that their products and services become obsolete. On the other hand, firms that see climate change as an opportunity can cut operational costs and get ahead of the competition by developing new and innovation low carbon products and services. There is an increasing awareness of climate change in the broader community and increasingly consumers are looking to purchase environmentally sustainable products and services. Ultimately firms that take action on climate change will enhance their reputation, while those who do not run the risk of losing out to competitors. Read more