I was reading a piece by deputy director of the Climate Institute begging Australia to commit to a 15 per cent emissions reduction target because it would be cheap because the price of permits is so low. But here’s the thing: the price of permits is so low because no countries are doing much (including the very watered down EU-wide target) and there are too many permits.
For a carbon intensive economy like Australia’s to shoot itself in the foot by upping the target beggars belief, although shadow environment minister, Mark Butler, seems to be going along for the ride. (Note to Dolly: what is your position?)
Should the carbon tax be repealed, it will be interesting whether Labor campaigns for its reintroduction at the next election.
But I digress. The real point of this post is to tell you what I have found out the Climate Institute. To give the organisation its due, there is a high degree of transparency in its website and annual review.
Did you know that ANDREW DEMETRIOU is on the board? And has been since 2010.
And did you also know that:
- Westpac is the Lead Climate Partner
- KPMG, Mirvac, Pacific Hydro and Ogilvy Earth are Major Climate Partners
- AGL, GE and Australia Post are Climate Partners
Some of these organisations make sense – they are rent-seekers in the renewable energy space – but not all of them. Australia Post????
And then there is this lament in the most recent Annual Review:
The last financial year was a year of extremes. Extremes only partly unexpected, and extremes predictably unrealised. The context in which we have found ourselves has challenged and sharpened us as an organisation, as we continued to work towards ambitious yet achievable solutions to the ever-present and very real climate change threat.
It seems that the TCI’s main source of funding -the Poola Charitable Foundation (Tom Kantor Fund) – is coming to an end.
It is also noteworthy that TCI received a fair slab of government funding in this last financial year, but the report seems to apologise for this state of affairs.
The magnitude of the operation is not unsubstantial – $2.8 million in revenue, $2 million in costs.
But the part I love the most of the Annual Review is the homily from Andrew Demetriou. I know there is a reason for my waning interest in Aussie Rules.
In my role with the AFL I talk to a number of people about
a range of issues, and naturally some of them are closer
to my heart than others. The issues I encounter in the AFL
are vast; they touch people from every conceivable walk of
life. Some resonate on a personal basis more than others.
As a board member of The Climate Institute, I’m engaged
on an issue that is important in so many ways.
When thinking about how best I could provide a clear
understanding of what the Institute is about and why
I’m involved with it, I realised you probably don’t need to
hear in detail how climate change is impacting us locally
You may not want to focus on the fact that climate change
is gravely affecting the way we live and the way our children
will live in decades to come. You may not want to be told
of the effect it’s having on infrastructure and industry or the
dangerously high global levels of CO2 we’re currently faced
with. Or how Australia is at risk of being left behind in terms
of sustainable, meaningful climate solutions and runs the
risk of failing in its claim to be a vital and progressive part of
a low-carbon future. Indeed you may not wish to know that
we’re now finding even the most conservative voices, like
the World Bank, highlighting the dangers of climate change
and the need for immediate action.
But we are not a green party or a lobby group. By seeking
most of our financial backing through private philanthropy,
the Institute is unique in that it is focused on climate
solutions through strategic, independent investment.
This independence is critical as it gives us the freedom
to make realistic assessments and analysis without the
burden of other agendas.
Through private investment we have already played a part in
influencing thought leadership around the need to ensure
the largest polluters are accountable for their carbon
output. We’ve developed ground-breaking analysis of the
financial sector’s role in investing in low-carbon solutions and
delivered reports on climate risks to Australian industries.
We’ve done this through evidence-based research;
the Institute isn’t interested in operating on guesswork or
the prevailing ideology of the day.
This is an organisation that is made up of decent people
with strong values. In many ways it’s really that simple.
Frankly I wouldn’t be involved with this organisation if I didn’t
think their moral code was robust. It simply wouldn’t work.
As a country we now have an opportunity to take the lead
on a global scale and actually exert influence on others.
By any measure we simply cannot afford to fail to respond
to what is happening around us and that brings me back
to why I’m involved with The Climate Institute.
The next period is pivotal in shaping this country’s
climate future.With an ever-changing political landscape, there are key challenges ahead and now is the time to be developing
a sustainable blueprint that properly addresses the
issues at hand.
Now is the time to work with business and the private
sector to drive change through significant investment.
Now is the time to keep all political parties on their toes
and ensure they are ready to engage and address our
initiatives and thinking.
Now is the time to re-assess what the future looks like.
I would ask that you support the Institute’s crucial work
as we enter a vitally important phase on this issue.
You have the opportunity to be a part of the solution—a
solution that offers a clear pathway to a low-carbon future.
The Climate Institute will continue to make a difference
locally and globally, we hope you can be a part of driving of these outcomes.