In anticipation of the federal government’s new Net Zero by 2050 target, an alliance of business leaders, industry and community groups has committed to a five-year collaboration to plan and deliver a sustainable economic transformation for the nation.
Engineers Australia, the Planning Institute of Australia, the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council are among the first to join the Climate Ready Australia 2030 (CRA2030) alliance, a flagship project of Griffith University’s Climate Ready Initiative (CRI).
The first-of-its kind project is backed by a high-profile board, which includes internationally recognised economist and former leader of the Liberal Party, Dr John Hewson AM, and business leader Ann Sherry AO.
CRI Board Chair, internationally-recognised impact investment expert Rosemary Addis AM, believes Australia is at a crossroads and must make strategic decisions about its future now.
“Done well, the transformation required by climate change has the capacity to deliver substantial positive social, economic and environmental benefits,” Ms Addis said.
“But, if we don’t keep pace with global expectations we will increasingly see Australian goods and services penalised, such as through facing higher trade tariffs. Our agriculture, energy, health, and infrastructure sectors all face major threats that we must prepare for.
“If we don’t take transformative action on climate change now, Australia risks missing out on the substantive economic opportunity, jobs creation and broader environmental co-benefits of a carbon neutral future.”
“Climate experts are unanimous in arguing Australia currently lacks a plan around how to deliver its carbon commitments while ensuring 26 million citizens and residents have a sustainable and beneficial future.
“This is an ambitious project aiming to fill this critical gap, by developing a detailed plan of how to get there, in collaboration with the industries and community groups that must be part of solutions.”
Convening CRA2030 is Sam Mackay, Executive Director of the CRI, who encouraged other peak groups to join the alliance.
“By joining, industry and community groups can help to shape a shared plan for sustainable development that builds on past successes,” he said.
“This includes identifying the big transformative actions and investments needed to minimise Australia’s risk and enhance our opportunities in a rapidly transforming world.”
Professor Brendan Mackey, CRI Deputy-Chair and Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon, said the Griffith University led alliance provided a neutral platform to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between business, government and community, as well as helping ensure deliberations would be informed by robust evidence.
“The alliance will benefit from Griffith’s internationally recognised expertise and experience in climate risk management and social and economic development, in Australian and in the Asia-Pacific,” Professor Mackey said.