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.
- “Renewable Energy in Australia” report by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
- “Australian Energy Statistics” by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
- “COP28: Renewable Energy” from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
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.
- “Climate Finance in Australia” report by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation
- “Financing Australia’s Clean Energy Transition” by the Investor Group on Climate Change
- “COP28: Climate Finance” by UNFCCC.
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.
- “Carbon Market Report” by the Clean Energy Regulator of Australia.
- “Corporate Carbon Footprint Reduction in Australia” by the Carbon Market Institute.
- “COP28 and Carbon Markets” from UNFCCC.
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.
- “Decarbonising Australia’s Heavy Industries” by Grattan Institute.
- “Low Emissions Technology Statement” by the Australian
- “COP28: Industrial Decarbonization” by UNFCCC.
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.
- “Climate Change, Health and Well-being” by the Climate and Health Alliance Australia.
- “Climate Change and Health in Australia” report by The Medical Journal of Australia.
- “COP28: Climate and Health” from UNFCCC.
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.
- “Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change” by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Australia.
- “Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples” resource by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.
- “COP28: Inclusivity and Indigenous Rights” by UNFCCC
Miss Samoa Moemoana Safa’ato’a Schwenke greeting the Australian delegation
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.