A wide cross-section of business, investor and superannuation associations have come together to support the passage of the Climate Change Bill as an important step towards the greater climate policy certainty.
The lack of a settled national policy had consistently been cited as a key inhibitor to the effective management of climate change risk by investors, directors and other business leaders.
There was bipartisan and broad community and business support for achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The Government legislating a 2030 target of at least a 43% emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement establishes some much-needed policy certainty.
Signatories included: The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), Australian Energy Council (AEC), Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Governance Institute of Australia (GIA), Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) and the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).
Importantly, the legislation included a process for advice and adoption of deeper targets over time. It also provided clarity to investors and the business community more broadly, given all nations committed under the Paris Agreement to only strengthen their stated contributions.
The group considered legislating a national 2030 emissions reduction target to be a timely signal to the market of the Government’s ambition, and further encouragement to Australian organisations to progress their own decarbonisation plans.
The group also welcomed the Government’s intention to revitalise the Climate Change Authority as a key source of public, expert, independent advice on current and future targets and Australia’s performance against them. Such a body would aim to help provide an important governance role, supporting targets and progress that are informed by the best available science and broad consultation.
The group believed the proposed legislation makes a strong start to greater coordination by embedding the emissions target in many other existing legislations, promoting coherent action across the Federal Government.
“The broader the support for our national climate targets, the stronger the basis for planning and investment across the economy. We look forward to playing our own constructive role in delivering these targets while building Australia’s shared prosperity,” the group said.