In 2020, ClimateWorks was proud to adapt and  ‘hold focus’ despite the extraordinary circumstance of operating amid a global pandemic. We entered 2020 with a newly developed strategy for the transformative decade ahead. It aims for system-level changes – in recognition of the urgency of new climate findings. Research from the United Nations shows global emissions must halve this decade, and again the next, to reach net zero by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.  

Our approach to climate action aims to embolden governments and businesses to graduate from taking incremental steps, and to instead become the drivers of systemic change. We have redesigned our organisational structure to allow our specialist expertise to be applied across three ‘enabling’ systems:

  • Sustainable corporates,
  • Sustainable economies,
  • Sustainable finance.

And four physical systems: 

  • Food, land and oceans,
  • Energy,
  • Cities,
  • Industry.

Though 2020 was one of the most challenging years faced in our lifetimes, we have never felt more hopeful about global momentum for climate action.

Our 2020 Impact Report outlines how we are holding focus on our mission: to accelerate action towards achieving net zero emissions in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific – aligned with the aim of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. Thank you to our funders, stakeholders, partners and collaborators for making our role in a net zero future possible.

In 2020: 

  • We ensured climate was considered as a ‘double dividend’ in the COVID economic recovery. We did this through the release of Decarbonisation futures in April, as well as our partnership with the Climate and Recovery Initiative and activities in the region. 
  • We published reports on the local government, retail, transport, superannuation and resources sectors. Our superannuation sector publication influenced major funds in their setting of targets.
  • Through our unique convening approach we brought together some of industry’s biggest emitters as part of the Australian Industry ETI
  • We published two influential pieces of work on cities – a wide-ranging transport study, and infrastructure report released back in March, which has informed governments and infrastructure agencies of the role infrastructure plays in enabling emissions, and how this can change. 

Through our partnership approaches, we have made a difference by: 

  • Participating in high-level dialogues with a World Economic Forum regional action group. We have formalised our presence in the region with the addition of four staff in Indonesia. 
  • We shifted the direction of the finance sector, by supporting development of a Sustainable Finance Roadmap for Australia.
  • We worked with BNP Paribas and other partners to create the first forward-looking Australian Climate Transition Index for the ASX300. Our approach flips the way investment risk is assessed – by focusing on a company’s future decisions, not just past actions. 
  • Developing and running two webinar series – one with the British High Commission – reaching thousands of people, bringing international experts to our networks.

Read our 2020 impact report: Holding focus