More than 100 companies worldwide, including some of the world’s most recognisable brands, have co-signed an open letter calling on governments to accelerate decarbonisation and the switch to renewable energy.
With a combined revenue close to a trillion US dollars, the signatories include names like Nestle, Volvo, AstraZeneca, BT and IKEA.
Depressingly, however, corporate Australia is largely missing from the letter’s signatories.
Only one company in the billion-dollar class of signatories is Australian: Atlassian, the software giant founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.
Other hefty outfits with public commitments to renewable energy – Telstra, for example, or NBN Co, TPG, or Optus in the telco space come to mind – are missing, as are Australia’s big retailers.
A few smaller names from Australia are there: Alchemi Group, which runs Priceline pharmacies; beehive innovator Flow Hive; and skincare manufacturer Oz Green Oasis.
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“Our businesses are feeling the impacts and cost of increasing extreme weather events resulting from climate change. We recognize the need to transition in a way that safeguards our future collective prosperity on a liveable planet.”
That means ending the burning of fossil fuels, the letter said.
“This means turbocharging the renewables revolution, electrifying key sectors and massively improving efficiency — thereby creating the conditions for a rapid, well-managed and just transition away from fossil fuels. The transition to net zero could boost global GDP by 4 percent by 2030.”
The signatories want governments to “set the enabling conditions, policies, regulations and investments for a just clean energy transition”.
The letter doesn’t only target governments, though: the coalition wants financial institutions to “ensure that capital is being allocated to accelerate the clean energy transition”; and optimistically calls on fossil fuel companies to “join us in setting science-based, net-zero targets and to develop and publish transition plans on short- and long-term steps to decarbonise business operations, products and services.”