It was an inspiring array of amazing speakers from so many different sectors. An eye-opener to the amount of activity that's going on and the commitment and energy being invested by them and their organisations.
- Better Futures Forum participant
The Better Futures Forum is the flagship event of Better Futures Australia, a network of climate champions and partners representing more than seven million Australians from every sector of society and the economy, and over $218 billion in economic activity.
Leaders at the Better Futures Forum showed that across the breadth of society and economic sectors, Australians are doing what they can to take climate action. They know that Australia must take ambitious action this decade if we are to have any chance of reaching net-zero by 2050.
At August’s national climate summit, the 2021 Better Futures Forum, international leaders including former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and US President Biden’s deputy climate envoy Jonathan Pershing raised calls for the Morrison Government to at least halve emissions by 2030 ahead of the global climate negotiations in Glasgow. Their calls were echoed by the UK’s COP26 President, Alok Sharma, who urged Australia to "step up" with “big, bold” commitments. Mary Robinson, former Irish president and UN Climate Envoy, said Australia is “out of sync with other Western industrialised nations” and will become a “pariah” if it fails to transition from fossil fuels.
In a pointed reference to his Federal counterparts, NSW Climate and Energy Minister Matt Kean urged climate laggard leaders to act or "get out of the way". Shadow Federal Minister for Climate Change, Chris Bowen, signalled for the first time Labor's position that zero by 2050 is not enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, and that the party will take strong 2030 targets to the Federal election.
Leaders from every sector of the Australian economy and society shared their plans for a zero-emissions future: mayors of major cities that are electrifying transport and going carbon neutral by 2030, investors decarbonising portfolios in the trillions, some of Australia’s largest businesses going 100% renewable, health leaders crafting national strategies on climate and health, and regional towns building renewable-powered manufacturing and sustainable jobs. The founder of the world’s only zero-carbon lithium company for EV batteries outlined his vision, and First Nations leaders spoke on how Indigenous Knowledge Systems can heal Country.
To meet the obligations in the Paris Agreement – and to protect the wellbeing of the Australian people, our magnificent ecosystems, and our economic security – Australia must establish a clear pathway to transition our economy to a zero-emissions future.
The most important step is what we do in this decisive decade. Australia’s 2030 commitments must, at the very least, match those by our allies in the US, the EU and the UK.
Australia’s best hope lies with the Federal Government beginning to work with the leaders across the economy and society that are already laying the groundwork for a zero-emissions future.
If you'd like to give feedback on the Forum or have suggestions for future events, please get in touch with us at [email protected].
Carbon Neutral Event
Thank to our partners at South Pole, the 2021 Better Futures Forum was a certified carbon neutral event. Read more here.
Over the course of the Forum, we had illustrations created by Digital Storytellers, and daily video summaries from Lee Constable (@Constababble) at Cimpatico. You can view these in the pages below, and also see all recorded sessions from the Forum on our Youtube channel here.