Businesses and governments across Australia are adopting net zero emissions targets, but until now, there has been no central place to track growing momentum.
2. How you can help Australia reach net zero emissions
The Net Zero Momentum Tracker gathers Australian emissions reduction commitments together in one place. It assesses them against the economy-wide goal of net zero emissions by 2050, which is crucial to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement goals. Any business or government can publicly pledge to reach or align with net zero emissions by or before 2050.
Net zero emissions pledges can be made publicly through corporate documentation, media releases or pledge initiatives – see below to understand what we think a ‘gold standard’ pledge looks like
3. Why pledges matter
Decarbonising the economy is critical to resolving global challenges presented by climate change.
Pledging to be net zero by or before 2050 demonstrates to peers, customers and the wider Australian community, a commitment to combating climate change.
Public pledging normalises net zero emissions commitments and motivates others to get on board.
4. What a ‘gold standard’ pledge looks like
A ‘gold standard’ pledge is fully aligned with the Paris Agreement. It incorporates three key components:
- A net zero by or before 2050 target for your organisation’s greenhouse gas emissions. This includes direct emissions, from the organisation’s own activities and equipment it operates, as well as indirect emissions, such as those from generation of purchased energy and those associated with products and services.
- An emissions reduction strategy detailing how your organisation will draw down and eliminate avoidable emissions. This must be in line with a pathway consistent with limiting global temperature rise to well below 2℃ or 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels.
- A goal to use carbon offsets only for unavoidable emissions.
Your organisation can be fully aligned with the Paris Agreement by publicly committing to this ‘gold standard’.
To support and reinforce this commitment, you can join your peers by making a net zero commitment and/or signing up to a relevant pledge platform or initiative, such as those listed below:
- Science Based Targets initiative
- World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment
- Australian Government’s National Carbon Offsets Standard
- Take 2
- UN Principles for Responsible Banking Climate Change Commitment
- Global Covenant of Mayors
- ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
- C40 Cities
- Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
- Climate Emergency Declaration
- Cities Power Partnership (Climate Council)
- NSW Government Sustainability Advantage Program
- Zero Carbon Communities (Beyond Zero Emissions)
- UNFCCC’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action
5. Case studies
Case study: Bank Australia
As a mutual bank, Bank Australia is owned by its customers who vote on key decisions to ensure the bank’s activities are in line with their values.
Case Study: Australia’s ‘big four’ banks
Among the 20 banks assessed in the Net Zero Momentum Tracker banking sector report, the largest four banks – ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac – hold over 80 per cent of total resident assets reported by Australian banking institutions and almost 90 per cent of the resident assets reported by institutions included in this study.
Case study: Dexus
Among the property companies considered by the Net Zero Momentum Tracker, the Dexus Property Group’s net zero emissions commitment is comparatively ambitious and comprehensive.
Case study: Mirvac Group
Mirvac’s pledge to be ‘net positive’ by 2030 is unique amongst those property companies considered by the Net Zero Momentum Tracker.
Case study: GPT Group
One of Australia’s largest diversified property groups, GPT owns and manages some of Australia’s most well-known retail, office and logistics properties including Melbourne Central, Sydney’s Australia Square and Brisbane’s Riverside Centre.
Case study: Cities of Sydney and Melbourne
In February 2020, the Cities of Sydney and Melbourne announced their intention to bring forward their community-wide net zero emissions target by a decade to 2040.
Case study: City of Adelaide
The City of Adelaide aims to be the world’s first carbon neutral city.
Case study: Wyndham city council
Wyndham City Council falls within one of Melbourne’s designated growth corridors, and has a projected population forecast of over 240,000 by 2036.
Case study: Woolworths
Woolworths aims to reduce direct emissions from its operations to 60 per cent below 2015 levels by 2030 and has pledged to eventually adopt a target ‘in line with the level of carbon reduction required to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels’ through the SBTi initiative (Woolworths Group 2019).
Case study: Kathmandu
Kathmandu has over 160 stores in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, manufactures goods in 101 factories in Asia, New Zealand and Europe and sources materials from Asia, Australasia and the US.
Case study: Amazon
Amazon has committed to reach ‘net zero carbon’ by 2040 (Amazon 2020b).
Case Study: Australia Post
Australia Post is in the process of replacing its delivery motorbikes, vans and trucks with electric vehicles (Australia Post 2019).
Case study: Yarra Trams
Yarra Trams is the brand name for Melbourne’s tram network. It is a franchise, currently operated by Keolis Downer, a joint venture that operates light rail and bus services in several Australian states.
Case study: Qantas
Qantas is Australia’s largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations.