Despite COVID-19, corporate climate action in Australia and globally continues apace and, in some cases, is even accelerating. We've summarised 2020's key commitments to inspire your business to take the next step on your climate journey in 2021.

2020 was set to be the year of climate action with the Paris Agreement coming into effect, CORSIA – the UN-led program to address emissions from international aviation – entering its first operational phase, and an increasing number of businesses taking decisive action on climate change as a result of market signals and stakeholder pressure.

Then the global pandemic hit. 

Incredibly, despite the devastation that COVID-19 has caused, an increasing number of companies are actually accelerating their carbon reduction and Net Zero plans to address the threat of a climate breakdown. In Australia and across the world, we have seen record numbers of climate action commitments in 2020. 

Growing climate commitments on the Net Zero journey

As well as carbon neutral and renewable energy pledges, we’ve seen an avalanche of Net Zero emissions targets set by companies. The IPCC defines Net Zero as a state where emissions have been reduced to a minimum and remaining emissions removed from the atmosphere. It is widely viewed as the ultimate goal for a better future.

Let’s take a look at the most exciting corporate climate action achievements of 2020:

Image - Corporate Climate Commitments Infographic - South Pole

Graph showing Corporate Climate Action Commitments in 2020

Australian carbon neutral certifications increasing

Climate Active, the Australian Government’s carbon neutral certification network, is a key indicator of climate action in Australia. 2020 saw continued growth in the certifications as shown in the chart below. South Pole are proud to work with many of the Climate Active members on their climate journey.

Image - Graph showing growth of Australian carbon neutral certifications - South Pole

Graph showing Growth of Australian Carbon Neutral Certifications. Source: Climate Active

So what’s next for 2021? 

With the pandemic continuing and economic impacts hitting hard, can we expect this climate action trend to continue in 2021 here in Australia and globally?

It certainly looks likely. The momentum of most companies on climate action seems unhindered. Other big global drivers will also ensure that climate action remains in focus next year; the Biden administration taking power in the US, COP26 in Glasgow in November, and in the Asia Pacific region, the Net Zero commitments of China, Japan and South Korea will increase pressure on the Australian government to set similar targets.

The first movers to pursue corporate Net Zero targets will be the leaders and advocates for changing the way we do better business. As corporate boards take stock, revamp their strategies and respond to investor expectations, now is the time to align COVID-19 recovery plans with pathways to Net Zero. 

No matter where you are on your climate journey, make it your 2021 priority to take the next step towards Net Zero.

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Image Credit: Photo by Linda Xu on Unsplash