COP28 Insights for Australian Businesses

As an Australian delegate who recently attended COP28, I had the unique opportunity to immerse myself in two weeks of vibrant discussions, civil society activities, and negotiations. This blog post aims to share key insights and reflections from COP28, particularly focusing on how they relate to and impact businesses in Australia.

Renewable Energy and Decarbonization

A Shift Towards Sustainability: COP28 underscored the global shift towards renewable energy and decarbonization. For Australian businesses, this means adapting to a new landscape where reducing reliance on fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy technologies isn’t just environmentally responsible but also economically wise. The conference’s focus on increasing renewable energy capacity opens the door for Australian enterprises to explore new investment opportunities in clean energy sectors​​.

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Climate Finance and Investment

Investing in a Climate-Resilient Future: The emphasis on sustainable investment strategies, highlighted at COP28, is a call to action for Australian businesses. The need to finance climate-resilient projects, particularly in regions prone to climate impacts like the Pacific, presents an opportunity for businesses to play a pivotal role in driving sustainable and climate-resilient development​​.

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Advocacy at COP28 to stop fossil fuels and promoting climate finance – Daniella Conser

Carbon Markets and Scope 3 Emissions

Navigating the Carbon Market: Australian businesses should prepare for increased involvement in the carbon market, with a focus on effectively managing their indirect emissions (Scope 3 emissions). This involves both upstream and downstream activities in their value chain, necessitating a more comprehensive approach to their carbon footprint​​.

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Focus on Hard-to-Abate Emissions

Championing Decarbonization in High-Emission Industries: COP28 brought to light the urgency for industries with high emissions to ramp up their decarbonization efforts. The Climate Club and similar initiatives are pushing for industrial sectors like steel and cement to innovate and reduce emissions, a directive that Australian businesses in these sectors need to heed​​.

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Urging institutions to “Pick up the pace” with Mary Robinson, Jane Madgwick, David Obura and Daniella Conser

Health and Climate Change

Health at the Forefront of Climate Action: The recognition of health issues associated with climate change at COP28 opens a new arena for Australian businesses. This is particularly relevant for those in the healthcare sector, where there are opportunities to address the growing health impacts due to climate change and contribute to health-focused climate initiatives​​.

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Inclusivity and Indigenous Communities

Inclusivity in Climate Strategies: Emphasizing inclusivity in climate action, COP28 highlighted the need for businesses to consider the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities. Australian businesses are encouraged to develop strategies that support and positively contribute to groups like Pacific and Indigenous populations, who are disproportionately affected by climate change.

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Miss Samoa Moemoana Safa’ato’a Schwenke greeting the Australian delegation

Conclusion

Reflecting on COP28, it’s clear that the event has set a new benchmark for climate action, with significant implications for Australian businesses. The transition towards sustainable practices, renewable energy, and inclusive strategies is not just an environmental imperative but a business one. As we look to the future, the insights from COP28 provide a roadmap for businesses to align with global sustainability goals and contribute meaningfully to a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable world.

To quickly find out how your business is doing on the road to sustainable development, take the free SDG Align self-assessment.

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