As world leaders join U.S. President Joe Biden for his landmark climate summit starting tonight, Australian corporate climate activity is surging, says independent industry association Climate Market Institute (CMI).
The CMI is the independent industry association for businesses leading the transition to net-zero emissions. Membership to the CMI has grown 36 per cent this financial year with Coles signing on this month as the 100th member, following the retailer’s commitment to using 100 per cent renewable electricity by the end of 2025, reducing Scope 1&2 emissions by more than 75 per cent by the end of 2030 (from a 2020 baseline) and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Other recent CMI sign-ups include the NAB, HSBC, futures exchange FEX Global, regenerative farming business Macdoch Ag Group, carbon capture and storage research facility CO2CRC, and petroleum company Ampol.
CEO of the CMI, John Connor, said the surge in membership across the carbon market value chain is further evidence that this year is lining up to be a crucial one for corporate emissions reduction policies.
“Australian companies are now looking for economic opportunities in the transition to net-zero emissions and there is growing demand for more sophisticated carbon market services,” Mr Connor said.
“FEX Global, for example, is looking to offer exchange-traded futures contracts for low carbon energy and environmental products.”
“While we welcome the Morrison government’s pragmatic approach to developing technologies to help Australia reach net-zero emissions, we are yet to see Australia commit to the scale and speed, or the policy framework, required to play our fair role,” he commented.
“This year, whether at the Biden Summit or at COP 26, I hope to see other existing policy levers – such as strengthening the Safeguard Mechanism – brought in, to give clarity to Australian companies as they make key investment calculations.”
Coles Group’s Chief Sustainability, Property and Export Officer, Thinus Keeve, said CMI provides a great platform to collaborate and share knowledge, as part of its sustainability strategy.
“Together to Zero acknowledges our commitment to work together with all stakeholders towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and CMI provides an opportunity to do that,” Mr Keeve said.
Executive Chairman of FEX Global, Brian Price, commented: “We see opportunities in Australia’s future carbon market, with Australia well positioned to become an Asian energy and environmental finance hub.”
Macdoch Ag Group, through its Wilmot Cattle Co, recently achieved a ground-breaking sale of private market carbon credits in the U.S.
Macdoch Director, Eric Lawrence, shared: “We see an opportunity to achieve outcomes like this for a growing number of Australian farmers through the technological and practical support of farming practice change and the development of Australia’s carbon markets. We welcome CMI as a focal point and a channel for advocacy in realising this potential.”
Chief Executive of the CO2CRC, David Byers, added: “As a leader in carbon capture utilisation and storage research, CO2CRC joined CMI because its member network comprises a wide range of organisations pursuing a similar goal to us.”
“Being a CMI member offers CO2CRC insights into national and global developments in carbon markets and policies, which stimulates the wider industry application of low emissions technologies like CCUS,” he said.
Mr Connor said the greatest value in joining CMI comes from the collaboration, knowledge-sharing and commercial opportunities that come from participating in its working groups, forums and its annual Australasian Emission Reduction Summit.
“CMI also works robustly but constructively with governments to build current carbon markets and carbon pricing schemes, it recently released its Advocacy Positions which it will update each year,” he said.