Program and speaker announcements for Climate Governance Forum 2024

Monday, 20 May 2024


    In this newsletter, we announce the program and first speakers for the AICD’s Climate Governance Forum 2024, to be held in Sydney on Friday, 23 August 2024. The program covers the most pressing climate issues affecting Australian non-executive directors in all sectors and features an exciting mix of leading directors, international and local experts, and major investors. Register now.

    We also offer directors the opportunity to participate in a discussion on mandatory climate reporting, including guidance on what directors can do to prepare for these significant new requirements and understand investor expectations. Is your board ready? Join the AICD’s free webinar on 19 June 2024 to find out, featuring Penny Bingham-Hall FAICD, Chair, Vocus and non-executive director, Fortescue; and Ed John, Executive Manager, Stewardship, ACSI.

    Also, this month:

    • Secure your place in AICD’s climate short course – now monthly;
    • The Federal Budget commits $22.7 billion to the Future Made in Australia package;
    • Corporate climate transitions are under the spotlight after the Woodside AGM vote;
    • Australia’s Future Gas Strategy; and
    • G7 nations agree on a coal exit deadline.

    Announcing the program and speakers for the Climate Governance Forum 2024

    The AICD has released the program and first speakers for the 2024 Climate Governance Forum, to take place in Sydney on Friday, 23 August. The program features key sessions covering:

    • Transition plans: Development and execution
    • Mandatory climate reporting
    • How boards should respond to an ESG backlash
    • The board’s role in nature and biodiversity
    • Dedicated sessions for NFP, listed companies, and networking

    Speakers include leading directors, legal advisers, investors and international experts, with more to be announced: Dr Ken Henry AC, Chair of Australian Climate and Biodiversity Foundation; Kate O’Rourke, ASIC Commissioner; Deanne Stewart, CEO of Aware Super; Andrew Stevens, Sustainability Committee Chair, Stockland; Holly Kramer, NED, Woolworths; Dr Ben Caldecott, Co-Head, UK Transition Planning Taskforce; Philip Foo, Vice President, CGI Glass Lewis; and Dr Fiona Wild, Group Climate and Sustainability Officer, BHP. Register for in-person or virtual attendance.

    Mandatory climate reporting: ASIC flags pragmatic approach; new AICD webinar

    ASIC Chair Joe Longo has urged companies to prepare now for the pending mandatory climate reporting regime. In a speech to the Deakin Law School International Sustainability Reporting Forum, Mr Longo flagged the regulator would be taking a pragmatic approach to supervision and enforcement while indicating that market guidance will be developed.

    To support directors to prepare for the new reporting regime, the AICD is hosting a free webinar. Join Penny Bingham-Hall, chair of Vocus and non-executive director at Fortescue along with Ed John, Executive Manager of Stewardship at ACSI, for ‘Ready, Set, Report’ – a one-hour lunchtime event hosted by Anna Gudkov, Senior Policy Adviser, AICD.

    Mandatory climate reporting, the biggest change to corporate reporting in a generation, is likely to commence on 1 January 2025. Hear about what investors will be looking for and how your board can best prepare for these significant new requirements. Register for this free webinar.

    The AICD is currently updating the mandatory climate reporting guide, produced with Deloitte and MinterEllison, to reflect the enabling bill which is before Parliament. However, the guide’s essential guidance remains relevant – access the resources which have been downloaded over 20,000 time since their release last October.

    The AICD recently joined with 14 other business, industry and investor groups calling for the bill’s passage (read the joint statement).

    Federal budget prioritises net zero energy and industrial transition

    With aspirations to become a ‘renewable energy superpower’, in its 2024–25 Budget the Australian Government provides $22.7 billion over 10 years to accelerate investment in Future Made in Australia priority industries, including an estimated $19.7bn for renewable hydrogen, green metals, low carbon liquid fuels, refining and processing of critical minerals and manufacturing of clean energy technologies including in solar and battery supply chains.

    The government will also provide $17.3m over four years from July to promote the development of sustainable finance markets in Australia. And $10m over four years from 2024–25 for additional resourcing for ASIC to investigate and take enforcement action against market participants engaging in greenwashing and other sustainability-related financial misconduct. Additional funds target workforce development, nature conservation, and biodiversity initiatives.

    Read more in AICD’s Federal Budget briefing from our Head of Policy, Christian Gergis GAICD.

    Corporate climate transitions under the spotlight in AGM season

    Increasingly, advice to companies is that Climate Transition Action Plans are no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather, an important marker of an organisation’s commitment to decarbonisation and evidence of its resilience in a decarbonising economy.

    In the most recent AGM reporting season, corporate climate transitions were thrust into the media spotlight when 58.4 per cent of Woodside Energy’s voting shareholders rejected the company’s Climate Transition Action Plan. The vote’s defeat raised the important – and timely – question: What makes for a 'credible' company transition? Read our article.

    The Federal budget has also earmarked funding this financial year for Treasury to develop transition planning guidance for boards, signalling increasing policy focus on this complex area.

    Australia’s Future Gas Strategy

    Ahead of the budget, the Australian Government released its Future Gas Strategy which identifies that additional gas investment and supply will be needed to avoid supply gaps in the domestic market and ensure sufficient supply for households, power generators and industry. In her foreword, Resources Minister Madeleine King said, ‘natural gas is needed through to 2050 and beyond, though its production and use will change over this period.’

    The Strategy was well received by business groups, with Ai Group saying it sensibly acknowledged two truths: ‘Maintaining reliable and affordable natural gas supply is vital along the way to net zero; and so is cutting demand for natural gas through efficiency, electrification and fuel switching.’ It was criticised by some energy analysts, including the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis which questioned the validity of the Analytical Report underpinning the strategy.

    At a Climate Action Week Sydney event, Professor Rod Sims AO from The Superpower Institute, said extending the role of gas beyond 2050 risked contradicting the Future Made in Australia Act.

    2024 Nature Positive Business Awareness Survey

    In anticipation of the Global Nature Positive Summit to be held this October in Sydney, the Australian Climate and Biodiversity Foundation (ACBF) is conducting a short survey to understand the current awareness and perceptions of Nature Positive in Australia’s business community.

    Chaired by Dr Ken Henry, the ACBF is a not-for-profit organisation that brings together business, government, experts and civil society to protect and restore Australia’s forests and secure lasting biodiversity, climate, and economic outcomes. The short (10-minute) survey is open until 31 May 2024 and will be used to inform policy advocacy and resource capability building. Access the survey.

    Market developments update

    • Earlier this month, G7 nations released a communique committing to ‘phase out existing unabated coal power generation in our energy systems during the first half of 2030s, or in a timeline consistent with keeping a limit of 1.5°C temperature rise within reach.’
    • The International Energy Agency finds surging investment in manufacturing of clean energy technologies is supporting economic growth. In 2023, clean technology manufacturing comprised around four per cent of global GDP growth and 10 per cent of global investment growth.
    • On budget day, Federal Treasury published the Future Made in Australia National Interest Framework. The 32-page document sets out the role for government in providing economic incentives to catalyse private sector investment and is structured around two streams: Net zero transformation and economic resilience and security.
    • The Australian Financial Review reports Rio Tinto executives will be incentivised to reduce carbon emissions, deliver decarbonisation projects, and integrate decarbonisation activity into value creation.
    • A case study involving Telstra reveals ‘climate clauses’ are being rolled out to major suppliers which make up 80 per cent of the company’s supply chain spend.
    • Chapter Zero New Zealand releases a directors’ guide to Effective climate governance – remuneration and incentivisation.
    • Public submissions are invited on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme, until 24 May 2024.
    • Australia is host of the first Global Nature Positive Summit. Expressions of Interest have opened for site visits which will be a key component of the summit program.

    AICD climate short course goes monthly!

    The AICD’s Climate Governance for Australian Directors short course is a four-week facilitated course delivering comprehensive insights into the developing climate-related obligations and opportunities for directors in Australia. The first courses have been well received from participants and have sold out quickly. The course is now running monthly. Secure your place.

    Get up to speed with our free climate E-learning module

    The Introduction to Climate Governance e-learning module is free for members and is a valuable starting point on a director’s climate governance journey.

    This is of of your complimentary pieces of content

    This is exclusive content.

    You have reached your limit for guest contents. The content you are trying to access is exclusive for AICD members. Please become a member for unlimited access.