Risky business: How companies and investors can prepare for a two degree economy

A new guide for investors and companies wanting to assess the risks and opportunities climate change poses to their facilities and products and prepare for the transition to a two degree economy has been released by ClimateWorks Australia.

The guide - The global transition to a two degree economy has begun. Here’s how you can prepare – offers several simple frameworks for investors and companies across all sectors to understand the steps they need to take to prepare for the transition.

ClimateWorks Australia Acting CEO, Amandine Denis-Ryan said there was increasing pressure on companies and investors to plan, but it still posed a major challenge for many corporations.

“Corporate and financing decisions are critical to limiting the increase in global temperatures as defined by the Paris Agreement but these goals are not regularly a part of company planning and reporting activities,” she said.

“However, companies that develop and execute smart strategies for the pathway to deep decarbonisation are likely to be better placed to pursue opportunities while mitigating against the climate risks.”

Ms Denis-Ryan said the new guide provides a simple framework for companies to think about climate change scenarios and assess the risks and opportunities to their facilities and products against the impact of potential future outcomes.

“Designing scenarios involves choosing from many different parameters, from the global economic context to identifying specific climate action levers like current technologies and available social, economic and environment measures that can be pulled to mitigate climate risks,” she said.

“In the first instance companies and investors need to decide what scenarios are appropriate for their business or investment portfolio so that they can stress test their strategy against the most material risks and opportunities created by a two degree economy.

“For example a resource company will want to run scenarios around material efficiency or material substitution and a coal mining company will want to run scenarios around the future cost and availability of carbon capture storage technologies.”

Ms Denis-Ryan said the guide also provided information on the factors companies and investors can consider when setting an emissions reduction target and how they can develop a decarbonisation strategy for their business or portfolio to reduce emissions at lowest cost.

“Keeping global warming well below two degrees Celsius means getting to net zero emissions by or before 2050 in most developed economies, which will require significant changes to how companies operate. The good news is that the technologies already exist to help us achieve this goal alongside economic growth. Those technologies sit under four ‘pillars’ of activity – energy efficiency, low carbon electricity, switching to electricity and cleaner fuels and non-energy emissions,” she said.

“We hope this guide will help companies and investors prepare themselves for a decarbonising economy and follow current leaders in capturing opportunities along the way.”

Media Contact: Aileen Muldoon 0419 112 503

Note: If you are interested in attending a briefing on the guide, please click here.