As Australia and our international peers gather at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid, it is clear that the world is not yet on track to stay within the temperature limits set out in the Paris Agreement. Getting there will require more ambition and action around the world, including in Australia. Our organisations, representing broad sections of the community and meeting as the Australian Climate Roundtable, today announced the next steps in our work to help Australia play our fair part in these efforts while maintaining and increasing our prosperity.
Australia needs coordinated action across our nation to meet this challenge. The Roundtable’s joint principles for climate policy, first agreed in 2015, set out common ground on the goals of climate policy and how to meet them. Today we release an update that strengthens these principles. The changes include:
• more closely reflecting the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement, which was drafted after our original principles;
• directly addressing the land sector for the first time, following the addition of the National Farmers’ Federation to the Roundtable;
• strengthening our recognition of the role of innovation, science and technology in making climate solutions more available and affordable; and
• affirming that the needs of vulnerable workers, communities and industries can, and should all be met in designing effective climate policies.
The Roundtable has also adopted a work plan for the coming year that focusses on building our shared understanding of the costs and impacts of climate change on Australia, and the pathways for a successful transition to a net zero emissions Australian economy. We will work with each other, our members across the community, and local and international experts on these issues, and present our findings over the course of 2020.
The Australian Climate Roundtable’s updated joint principles for climate policy are at www.australianclimateroundtable.org.au.