Climateworks is moving to a system change approach, to embolden governments and businesses to graduate from taking incremental steps to instead becoming drivers of systemic change. This requires us to take on new areas of work, and grow our team.
Climateworks is changing how we approach our work. Our mission – to accelerate the transition to net zero in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific – remains the same. To limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees, striving for 1.5 degrees, global emissions must halve this decade and again the next.
That means action on climate needs to increase – by a lot. We are scaling, in earnest, to meet this urgent need. Poppy Johnson from The Fifth Estate noticed our steady stream of job postings last year – those with keen eyes will note we haven’t slowed down since.
Part of this change is restructuring our program team to cover the areas of the economy that matter most for emissions reductions. We’ve identified four physical systems to focus on:
- Food, land and oceans
As well as three ‘supporting’ systems that can enable change:
- Sustainable economies
- Sustainable finance
- Sustainable corporates
We’ve been excited to welcome staff – some new and some from existing teams – into new roles, leading our systems change approach. System leads are now recruiting to build their teams.
Rob Kelly, System Lead for Industry, thinks that ‘ if we are going to reach net zero emissions by 2050, decarbonising industry will be the major challenge but also presents some of the greatest opportunities for new products, industries and business models’. Rob has been with Climateworks for many years, previously leading the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative, which is working with 14 of Australia’s largest industrial and enabling organisations. But there’s a lot more to be done: ‘growing the team allows us to take on more complexity and challenges, addressing emissions in this critical area of the economy’.
Wei Sue, who also recently supported the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative, is drawing on her experience working with large corporates in Australia’s hard-to-abate sectors in her new role as Sustainable Corporates Lead. She says that growing her team is about gearing up for increased action: ‘corporates are micro-systems in their own right. Collectively, Australian corporations control 80 per cent of the country’s emissions and are responsible for equally (if not more) high proportions of emissions in most other countries’.
Because corporates are so influential, Wei says it’s imperative that they are ‘primed and ready to make decisions, and equipped with the right capabilities to take action’.
Rupert Posner, who has been working in climate change since the 1990s, is taking on the role of Sustainable Economies Lead. He describes the significance of his team as ‘changing the practices, incentives and obstacles for green economic diversification, to shift from climate polluting practices’. As his team grows, he hopes they will ‘encourage economic diversification, and work with stakeholders in understanding how to shift to a sustainable economy’.
Margot Delafoulhouze recently joined Climateworks as Cities Lead. Margot comes from WWF France, where she was Head of Advocacy and Campaigns for Sustainable Cities. She will also utilise experience in transitions and plastic pollution, working with our existing Cities team members to raise our ambition.
These changes are critical to achieving our mission, as we enter what is commonly regarded as the transformational decade. An increase in climate action is required at an enormous scale. To best play our role, we are scaling too – driving the systemic change needed to meet climate goals in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.