Today, the Australian Climate Roundtable – a powerful alliance of Australia’s biggest businesses, farmers, unions and civil society – has thrown down the gauntlet to the Morrison Government, demanding immediate action to address the climate crisis.

This is a game-changing moment for climate action in Australia.

The Roundtable includes the Business Council of Australia (BCA) – who represent hundreds of Australia’s biggest businesses like Telstra, ANZ, Wesfarmers and Qantas.

Just one year ago, the ACF community asked the BCA to step up and be a climate advocate. They listened and rose to the challenge.

The Roundtable also includes major electricity providers and retailers, the Australian Industry Group, the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Council of Trade Unions. It includes the Investor Group on Climate Change, representing investors with $2 trillion who are concerned about climate change.

I am proud to be part of such a diverse range of groups with a strong and united message to our Government.

We still have our work cut out for us. This week in Parliament, even though the country is gripped with a pandemic crisis, the Morrison Government introduced changes to weaken our national environment protection and clean energy laws. With you, we will leave no stone unturned to strengthen them, not weaken them.

And today some powerful voices joined our call for climate action.

The Australian Climate Roundtable’s statement was stronger than any push by big business we have ever heard:

“Australia is currently woefully unprepared for the scale of climate change threats that will emerge over the coming decades.

There is no systemic government response (federal, state and local) to build resilience to climate risks.

Action...does not match the scale of the threat climate change represents to the Australian economy, environment and society.”

The statement also points to the solutions we have at our hands as a clever, creative country.

For decades now, the ACF community has spoken out delivering this message to governments. Now, some influential businesses are advocating too.

With so many powerful voices speaking out publicly, our Government is now isolated in their determination to ignore the issue.

Many businesses still have a long way to go to be responsible climate citizens and we’ll keep pushing them, but this news today is incredibly positive and simply unprecedented.

Despite all the bad news, climate momentum is real – it’s building fast and it’s uniting us all.

Together, we are loud. Together, we are having impact. Let’s keep it up.

Keep pushing your local representative to follow the lead of community and business and speak out for strong climate action.


Australian Climate RoundtableFar-reaching climate change risks to Australia must be reduced and managed

The Sydney Morning HeraldNation 'woefully unprepared' for climate change, business groups warn

The Guardian: Climate crisis: business, farming and environment leaders unite to warn Australia 'woefully unprepared'

Kelly O’Shanassy

CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation.