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Dawn over a wind farm © Global Warming Images / WWF

Dawn over a wind farm © Global Warming Images / WWF

Australian business, including AGL Energy, show leadership on climate change

24 Sep 2015

  • carbon pollution
  • climate change
  • energy

Australia’s only official lead-in event to UN Climate Conference in Paris to be held in Sydney.
Australian businesses will show the world just how seriously they are taking climate change at the Australian Climate Leadership Summit which, announced today, will be held in Sydney on 5 November 2015.
The Summit is Australia’s only official lead-in event to “Paris 2015” - the crucial United Nations climate change conference which kicks off in Paris on November 30.
CDP, an international NGO providing the only global environmental disclosure system, and a coalition of other leading climate organisations have been encouraging Australian companies and investors to show leadership on climate change in the lead up to Paris.
In a sign that local companies increasingly understand climate change is a clear and present danger, more than 30 major Australian companies have so far signed on to key climate leadership commitments developed by CDP and We Mean Business, including Westpac, Infigen Energy and Local Government Super (see full list next page).
“The Summit will showcase climate leadership commitments by leading companies, institutional investors, state and territory governments, and city governments. We are proud that the Australian Climate Leadership Summit has been recognised by the French Government as our nation’s only official lead-in event to COP21, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris,” said James Day, Director - Australia and NZ, CDP.
Almost 200 companies and over 100 institutional investors around the world have already signed up to one or more of eleven CDP/We Mean Business climate leadership commitments. These commitments will be profiled at the Summit.
AGL Energy has today announced it is endorsing three of the climate commitments: responsible corporate engagement on climate policy; reporting climate change information in mainstream corporate reports as a fiduciary duty; and aligning with the UN Global Compact’s Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing.
Managing Director and CEO Andy Vesey said that adopting these commitments demonstrates AGL’s ongoing dedication to constructive, transparent and inclusive engagement on the challenges of climate change.
“We are heading towards a carbon constrained future and AGL wants to take a leadership position in making that transformation,” he said.
“The Federal Government has made a commitment to work towards a global agreement that limits global warming to less than 20C above pre-industrial levels.
“Our revised Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Policy supports this, and our commitments under the ‘We Mean Business Coalition’ provide an opportunity to engage and report back to our stakeholders in a transparent and robust manner.”
The Australian Climate Leadership Summit is an initiative of CDP in partnership with WWF-Australia, EY, and The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, together with a wide range of other leading climate organisations (full list below).
The Summit is an action of We Mean Business and is sponsored by the City of Sydney.
Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business, a coalition of organisations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors said: “We are excited to be supporting and working with the organisations behind the Australian Climate Leadership Summit. As Climate Week in New York continues, we are looking forward to a new climate conversation with Australian businesses, investors and governments at this widely anticipated event.”
“The low carbon transition is offering huge opportunities for business, the economy and society. Business can unleash a wave of innovation, create new low carbon products and services, generate sustainable jobs, cut energy use and increase savings if the right policies are in place,” said Dermot O’Gorman, CEO, WWF-Australia.
“The City of Sydney is proud to sponsor the Australian Climate Leadership Summit, a significant milestone on Australia’s path to the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, ” said Clover Moore, Lord Mayor, City of Sydney. “This support reinforces our commitment to helping Australian businesses share success stories and drive significant action on climate change. By showing leadership and working together, we can make a real difference.”
“The Summit will consolidate the increasing alignment on climate action across diverse sectors and help to shift the conversation towards how Australia can exploit the tremendous opportunities that arise from the low carbon, future economy,” said Dr Matthew Bell, Oceania Climate Change and Sustainability Services Leader at EY.

For further information or to organise media registration for The Australian Climate Leadership Summit, please visit the event website
Speakers at the Summit include:
- Andy Vesey, CEO, AGL Energy
- Miles George, Managing Director, Infigen Energy
- Dermot O’Gorman, CEO, WWF-Australia
- Anna Skarbek, CEO, ClimateWorks Australia
- James Day, Director – Australia and NZ, CDP
- H.E. Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassador of France to Australia
- Clover Moore, Lord Mayor, City of Sydney (invited)
- Keith Tuffley, Managing Partner and CEO, The B Team
- John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute

Companies and investors headquartered or active in Australia with climate commitments registered through We Mean Business include: AGL Energy, Australian Ethical Investment, AXA Group, Catholic Super, BT Group, CLP Holdings, Coca Cola Co, Colgate Palmolive, Colonial First State Investment, GDF Suez, HESTA, Hewlett-Packard, Honda, IKEA, Kellogg Company, Infigen Energy, Konica Minolta, Lenovo, Local Government Super, L’Oreal, Mars, Nestle, Nissan, Novion Property Group, Pepsi, Plato Investment Management, Shell, Ricoh, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Swiss Re, UCA Funds Management, Unilever, University of Sydney, Veolia, VicSuper and Westpac.
Commitments listed as of 18 September 2015. See all commitments at the We Mean Business website:
For more information or interviews, please contact:
James Day, CDP on 0434 194 705 or
Karen Kalpage, WWF Australia
Matt Bell, EY on 0411 647 114 or