Impact Tech Insights

Apr 23, 2021 8:25:07 PM
Tony Gourlay

Sydney to Host Zero Emissions Accelerator as Global Climate Action Gains Momentum

Joe Biden, Xi Jinping, other world leaders meet to galvanise efforts for climate growth


As world leaders convene at the Leaders Summit on Climate this week, and global climate action gains momentum, Sydney is preparing to host a summit with a wide coalition of climate action partners aiming to push NSW closer to its ambitious net zero goal.

NSW’s bold plan has already been set in motion with the release of its Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020–2030 that fast-tracks emissions reduction over the next decade. The goal is to reduce emissions by 35 percent by 2030 and ultimately, achieve net zero by 2050.

The Impact X Summit on Climate Growth (IX Summit) is the first global summit on accelerating pathways to zero emissions. Scheduled for 21 September, World Zero Emissions Day, the IX Summit will be jointly hosted by BESydney and Singapore-based Blue Impacts. It aims to bring Australia’s most promising and exciting climate innovators to the stage and positions NSW and Australia as a world leader in clean energy, decarbonisation technologies and carbon services.

New South Wales and the Path to Climate Growth


Just recently, the New South Wales government announced a $750-million program that aims to help companies develop low emissions technologies.

"NSW was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to set a net-zero objective, but we must get there in a way that grows the economy, makes our businesses and industry more competitive and puts us ahead of the pack in the low carbon global economy," NSW Environment and Energy Minister Matt Kean said.

In addition, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged another $566 million investment towards cleaner technologies like green steel, soil carbon sequestration and small modular nuclear reactors.

Of all nations, Australia faces some of the most extreme climate risks but also the greatest opportunity. NSW has recognised this with its Net Zero Plan to build resilience to climate change and generate economic growth. Australia, as a whole, is in a unique position to lead climate action initiatives.


Global Action to Accelerate Zero Emissions


This week’s Leaders Summit couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Collectively, the 40 countries participating in the Summit represent four-fifths of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis and we can’t wait any longer. We see it with our own eyes, we feel it, we know it in our bones, and it’s time to act,” says US President Joe Biden.

The goal of the Summit is crystal clear: to galvanise efforts by all nations to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Scientists believe that anything above that is outright terrifying and puts millions of people at risk.

Indeed, noted entrepreneur and visionary Elon Musk was correct when he once quipped, “We are running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”

What becomes crucial now is accelerating collective action and mobilising technology to make a real impact to achieve "climate growth" – an economic growth spurred by accelerating climate action.

Between the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by the United States in April, the IX Summit in Sydney in September and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November, we can expect further acceleration of pathways to zero emissions to gain traction this year.

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