Supporting Australian Businesses to Address Climate Change: Four Key Federal Policy Recommendations

The world is warming because of emissions caused by humans. The evidence is clear that carbon emissions are the driver of this warming, predominantly emitted through the process of burning fossil fuels.

Extreme weather events linked to climate change – including heatwaves, floods, and bush fires – are intensifying. The past decade was the warmest on record, and most governments, businesses and civil society organisations agree urgent collective action is needed.

The abatement of such climactic changes is only possible through a tremendous reduction in carbon emissions. Given that business produces 70% of Australia’s emissions,  we cannot reach net zero carbon emissions without significant changes in business conduct. To do so, business needs support, guidance, incremental targets, incentives and regulation. Technologies will help, but business needs support developing and adopting them. The task ahead is colossal, and business needs all the help it can get, if we are to maintain a liveable climate. 

This report proposes business in Australia’s goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions and makes a suite of recommendations about how government can support, regulate and incentivise business to reach this target.

This report is targeted primarily at the federal Australian government, but also provides useful tools and proposals for state governments and businesses who share our concern for future generations. 

The report is authored by Dr Leanne Morrison, and includes input from Dr John Purcell (Senior Policy Advisor, ESG, CPA Australia), Daniel Gocher (Director of Climate & Environment, The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility), Polly Hemming (Climate Change and Energy advisor, The Australia Institute) and Dr Al Fricker (Indigenous Educator, RMIT University).

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.