The conference took place at Dockside in Darling Harbour over two days, 25-26 July. I was responsible for taking notes that will be turned into a short summary of the outcomes to send to the Prime Minister, John Howard. There were some outstanding speakers and extremely interesting case studies on how Australian business and local governments are responding to the challenge of climate change.
Primary topics included risk management as it applies to climate change, development of an environmental policy with internal commitments to greening the workplace, adaptation required due to the changing climate, supporting and influencing behavioural changes, and the importance of credentials and transparency to avoid "greenwashing." In one of the more lively discussions early in the first day, many of the delegates criticized the use of carbon offsetting as a legitimate practice toward carbon neutrality. Other topics included "climate porn" in the media's overuse of dramatic images like the Antarctic ice-shelf collapse and stranded polar bears, the creation and future of Earth Hour, and the application of the Stern Report to the Australian market.
Roger Beale AO, Senior Associate, Allen Consulting Group
Published reports include:
Triple Bottom Line Measurement and Reporting in Australia (2002) – Triple bottom line includes the economic, social and environmental factors of sustainability.
Deep Cuts in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2007) – Analysis of the cost implications in Australia as a result of reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2050.
Darling Harbour: Dockside is all the way down on the right