29 Oct 2020

NAB collaborates with industry to explore transition to low-carbon economy

The role of corporates and financial institutions will be instrumental in planning for and supporting economies and communities as Australia transitions from high emissions electricity generation to a low carbon world, according to a new report released today.

The report, Just Transition: Implications for the Corporate Sector and Financial Institutions in Australia, prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) for NAB and Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA), highlights key areas for businesses and institutions in managing their interests and those of their customers and shareholders through an energy transition.

The report also demonstrates the importance of inclusive planning and the need for a collaborative approach when working with impacted communities, governments and corporates to enable a planned, co-ordinated and successful transition.

One of the objectives of the Paris Agreement, a “just transition” aims to create work opportunities, improve access to clean energy and address other equity impacts as part of the clean energy transition (UNFCCC, 2017).

NAB Group Executive – Corporate and Institutional Banking, David Gall said that corporates and financial institutions had a significant role in supporting a “just transition” to ensure environmental sustainability and create new jobs and opportunities. The report provides a framework about how to think about the transition in the context of corporate strategy and embedding this into decision making.

“We know the clean energy transition is accelerating. A successful transition will ensure environmental sustainability, create new jobs and be socially inclusive. We see opportunities for NAB and our customers in the transition to a low-carbon economy and are engaging with them on how we can support through development and implementation of transition plans,” Mr Gall said.

“We are focused on serving customers well and helping communities to prosper – this requires a long-term sustainable approach to decision making.”

“The success of a just transition will require private and public sector partnerships as well as co-ordination and collaboration across all levels of government. This report is aimed at driving discussion and it’s important that we start acting now,” Mr Gall said.

GCNA Executive Director Kylie Porter said: “The clean energy transition is progressing strongly in Australia which provides us with a unique opportunity to address this transition, plan early for closures, engage in multi-stakeholder consultations, diversify regional economies and not replicate the mistakes that we have seen in other countries.

“For coal producing countries such as Australia, the challenge we have now is how to avoid a disruptive transition. This means forward planning, strong multilateral cooperation and significant financial investments. If we fail to do so we will see enclaves of ‘stranded communities,’ ‘stranded assets,’ and ‘stranded workers.’”

“A coordinated and collaborative plan for the transition will assist with meeting net zero targets, reduce the risk of a patchwork approach to transition across the coal communities in Central Queensland, Hunter Valley and The Latrobe Valley. It will also enable Australia to be well-positioned to prosper from the clean energy transition,” Ms Porter said.

To access the full report please click here.

About Global Compact Network Australia

The United Nations Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with its membership consisting of over 10,000 businesses and 3,500 non-business participants. In Australia, the GCNA brings together signatories to the UN Global Compact, including more than 30 ASX 100 companies and other major corporates, non-profits and universities, to advance corporate sustainability and the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development.

GCNA is mobilising the private sector to contribute to sustainable development through the universal framework provided by the UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Ten Principles of responsible business practice.

About the ISF

The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) is an interdisciplinary research and consulting organisation at the University of Technology Sydney. ISF has been setting global benchmarks since 1997 in helping governments, organisations, businesses and communities achieve change towards sustainable futures.

They utilise a unique combination of skills and perspectives to offer long term sustainable solutions that protect and enhance the environment, human wellbeing and social equity.

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