Atlassian billionaire to announce net zero emissions target at UN climate summit | Environment
Australian tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes will travel to the United Nations summit on climate change in New York to announce that Atlassian will adopt a target of net zero emissions by no later than 2050.
The commitment, offered through UN Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5C and the Science-Based Targets initiative, will see Atlassian become the first major Australian company to join the Business Ambition for 1.5C.
The UN has offered business leaders prepared to commit to the initiative an opportunity to be recognised at the 23 September summit. The 2050 target builds on the company’s decision earlier this year to make a commitment to adopting 100% renewable energy by 2025.
Meeting the 2050 target will require Atlassian to cut emissions by at least 4.2% every year, and the company’s co-founder Cannon-Brookes said the program would apply both to the primary business and to the supply chain.
Australia will deploy the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, and the Australian ambassador for the environment, Patrick Suckling, instead. Only countries with new concrete commitments to announce were allocated speaking spots at the event.
Another notable absence from the climate summit will be Donald Trump. The American president, who will be in Wapakoneta, Ohio, with Morrison on Monday Australian time for the opening of a box factory owned by billionaire Anthony Pratt, and for a campaign event, will snub the climate session at the UN in favour of a summit focusing on worldwide religious persecution.
Cannon-Brookes said Australia should be a pace setter rather than a laggard on emissions reduction. “The world is [in New York] to address a burning issue. We know that we have to do our bit to reduce our impact on the planet. If we don’t, we’re cooked.
“As a nation, we should be leading the charge on this. After all, by the end of this month our entire capital city and parliament will be powered by renewable energy – the first outside Europe,” he said. “That’s an amazing story of opportunity for us to tell.”
Cannon-Brookes said the UN secretary general António Guterres had told participants at the UN summit to bring a plan to New York rather than a speech. He said if the Morrison government wasn’t prepared to respond to that request, then “we must”.
“It’s up to all of us. We’ve all got to show up with a plan and play our part. Our future demands it.”
He said, increasingly, business leaders were responding to the science of climate change and showing leadership. Other companies to set net zero emissions targets include Vodafone, HP, AstraZeneca, Singtel and Unilever.