Major climate events feed into Climate Leadership Conference

The next four months will be of critical importance for leaders of Australian governments, businesses and communities concerned with the future of climate change management, with a number of pivotal events at both international and national levels that will impact on future directions.

The outcomes of all of these events, and their significance for climate leaders at all levels of the Australian community, will be the focus of the Climate Leadership Conference to be held in Sydney on March 15-16, 2018.

The forthcoming 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place on 6-17 November in Bonn, Germany, presided over by the Government of Fiji. COP23 is expected to progress the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement (known as the Rulebook), in a process to be completed and signed off at the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018 in Poland. These guidelines will aim to ensure effective and fair implementation of the Agreement, and prompt innovation, investment and action in both the public and private sectors.

The Paris Agreement requires parties to enhance their climate action undertakings every five years, with periodic assessments of progress and new opportunities for action. COP 23 will set in motion the first of these assessment exercises which will take place over the next year as part of the Talanoa Dialogue. Under the Paris Agreement, parties are required to submit new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020.

On December 12, exactly two years after the signing of the Paris Agreement at COP21, the French President Emmanuel Macron will convene an International Climate Finance Summit. President Macron has stated that he expects the summit, organised in cooperation with the World Bank, will “mobilize the necessary funding” for implementation of the Agreement. In a statement last month, President Macron said the “greening of finance” was an urgent matter and the finance sector faced three challenges:

  • to integrate climate change-related issues in their analysis, and to improve climate related reporting, in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate Financial Disclosure delivered last June.

  • Developing financial instruments dedicated to financing the transition

  • private initiatives to complement the role of governments in the greening of private finance, including disclosure standards, climate scenario analysis and sectoral impact evaluation standards. Sustainability criteria or accounting frameworks in credit ratings should be reinforced.

The Australian Government's Review of Climate Change Policy, led by the Department of the Environment and Energy, is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Under its terms of reference, the Review is considering:

• the opportunities and challenges of reducing emissions on a sector by sector basis;

• the impact of policies on jobs, investment, trade competitiveness, households and regional Australia;

• the integration of climate change and energy policy, including the impact of state based policies on achieving an effective national approach;

• the role and operation of the Emissions Reduction Fund and its Safeguard Mechanism;

• complementary policies, including the National Energy Productivity Plan;

• the role of research and development and innovation;

• the potential role of credible international units in meeting Australia’s emissions targets; and

• a potential long term emissions reduction goal post 2030.

The Review attracted 350 submissions, which are available here.

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