Forum for Climate Action – Inaugural Roundtable

ACoP was delighted to host the Australia and New Zealand Forum for Climate Action inaugural virtual Roundtable on Wednesday, 9 March 2022.

The Roundtable, facilitated by Forum Convenor and ACoP Board member Simon Hann, explored ways in which the collective agency of supporters and signatories of the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter might be activated across the region to create substantial and meaningful outcomes.

In collaboration with founding members Chartered Accountants ANZ (CA ANZ), the National Environmental Law Association (NELA), Business Council of Sustainable Development Australia (BCSDA) and Engineers Australia (EA) we are stewarding the Charter’s ANZ Professional Bodies ‘Forum for Climate Action’.

With ACoP’s member organisations representing a million professionals across Australia, we are championing the duty of professionals to protect our national interest by promoting and practising sustainability in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement and in particular Australia’s international pledge of achieving net zero emissions (NZE) by at least 2050.

Charter Overview

The Charter brings together multi-disciplinary organisations to share and harness their expertise and climate-relevant resources while enhancing the capabilities of a broad range of professional organisations. It will achieve this by ensuring professionals are well informed on best-practices through relevant Continued Professional Development (CPD) resources whilst establishing common awareness and literacy of sustainability across and between professions.

Roundtable Discussion

The expert panel, comprised of national and international experts, shared their wealth of experience and knowledge through professional views and advice on the region’s climate agenda.

Zoe Whitton, (ESG Specialist and Partner, Pollination Group), pointed out that whilst both government and private sectors’ emission mitigation commitments set ambitious goals, many of these pledges have been announced with little or no strategy underpinning them. According to Zoe, capital markets are now strongly aligning their decisions to climate outcomes, primarily driven by asset risk. However, she also noted the rising number of climate-related litigation cases due to inadequate government and private sector responses and related fiduciary responsibilities which are likely to continue if not addressed and managed appropriately. Zoe concluded by highlighting that addressing climate is as much about mitigation as it is resilience and adaptation; and increasingly about nature-based solutions that are formed through collaborations across sectors, competitors, vertical supply chains and individuals.

Lisa Cliff, (Environmental Scientist, Program Manager – Better Futures Australia, Climate Action Network Australia) explained Better Future Australia’s establishment on the back of the 2019 bushfires which represented a politicisation and inertia to a federal climate change response. She also spoke about the opportunity now to advocate for the national climate policy settings for Australia and the need for civil society volunteers to keep fighting the bushfires and supporting flood rescue.  Lisa highlighted that the main obstacle to private sector actions across all sectors is a lack of national standards and policy uncertainty but maintained that industry players and sub-national governments’ collaboration can be a catalyst for national action.

Join the Forum for Climate Action

We invite individuals and professional organisations to join the Australian / New Zealand ‘Forum for Climate Action’ that works collectively to uphold the integrity and contribution that Australian professionals can make in pursuit of our Nation’s climate agenda. “Collaboratively, we intend to harness and share our joint expertise and climate-relevant resources to enhance capabilities to practice sustainability, including a timeline for achieving this and identifying the help and collaboration needed from within our partnerships to achieve this”, said ACoP Presideet A/Prof Klaus Veil.  

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