Emissions Reduction Summit – Melbourne 2019

Corporate Australia was well represented with 75 sponsors among the 600 plus attendees. They included BHP, QANTAS, ANZ, Westpac, Mac Bank, Comm Bank, GHD, EY, Orica, Woodside, Origin Energy, BP, Shell, NAPCO, Aboriginal, and Maori Carbon Funds plus some very big investment houses and banking divisions. One, AllianceBernstein has $1 trillion under management and is looking for good projects . Others included Green Alpha Advisors.

George Wilson attended the 6th Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit organised by the Carbon Market Institute in Melbourne from May 8th to 9th.

All are desperate for policy stability and are most concerned that without it their Boards will be caught as a negligent by APRA because they are not factoring in climate change to their decisions and cannot demonstrate compliance with the guidelines of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).  

Corporations are also searching for clarity on how the Safeguard Mechanisms will evolve. The meeting thought SM would eventually morph into a surrogate carbon tax. Politicians are reluctant to agree.
Shadow Energy Minister Mark Butler stated that if elected the ALP planned to strengthen the Carbon Farming Initiative and make it market-based rather than taxpayer funded as under the current Government.

Ministers from the Government were not present. Department of Energy public servants and Clean Energy Regulator were well represented, but guarded in care-taker mode.

The Summit noted that the budget for the taxpayer funded Emission Reduction Fund had been reduced to below $200m over 4 years. This was insufficient for Australia to meet its Paris targets. If that remained the case the importance of the secondary’ or ‘voluntary’ markets for ACCU’s would increase. This could be good because the voluntary market allows for co-benefits. Currently high prices are being paid for carbon credits in Europe.

Peter Garret was passionate as a keynote speaker. Fijian Prime Minister and the President of Kiribati were imploring. Former president of the Californian Senate reminded that Californian economy was strong despite major transition to renewables. Oliver Yates independent candidate and former head of the CFC was a bit nervous. Sharan Burrow impressive.  

The conference was introduced to Damon Gameau and his powerful film ‘The journey to 2040’  Preview at https://youtu.be/p-rTQ443akE  Take a look.

‘Carbon neutral meat’ produced by NAPCo was provided for the conference dinner. However detail was not provided to substantiate the claims in their Five Founders beef brand. The related target of the Australian beef industry and Meat and Livestock Australia to be carbon neutral by 2030 would appear to be only capable of attainment through substantial use of offsets.

AWS is looking for investors who see the benefit of incorporating wildlife and biodiversity gains into CFI methodologies.  Under current arrangements credits can only be earned in the voluntary market and then only aftera suitable methodology had been developed.

I am also looking for investors who are interested in more effective kangaroo management that leads to

  • improved soil and vegetation sequestration, and
  • methane reduction per kg meat produced

The opportunity is to tweak the existing Humane Induced Regeneration Method, and the Beef Cattle Herd Management Method and then trial the prospect need at scale Both need investment.

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