NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean and Federal Shadow Environment Minister Chris Bowen were keynote speakers at a Nature Conservation Council Business Forum at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney this morning.
The sold-out event, titled Risks and Opportunities in a Changing Climate, drew 190 business representatives keen to explore the opportunities presented by the move to a post-carbon economy.
Mr Kean said: “Green is now mainstream. The capital is green, with traditional funding sources now demanding that businesses have a credible path to lower emissions as a condition of credit.
“This greening of capital is affecting the state debt market, too. Delivering cheap green power into the supply chain of every business in NSW is an urgent priority.
“It will help the business community to remain internationally competitive and play its part in responding to the challenges of climate change.”
Mr Bowen said: “The moral case for action on climate change is so strong it doesn’t need to be our focus any more.
“What needs to be our focus now … is the economic case for action on climate change in our national interest, in our country’s interest.
“Not because Joe Biden asked us to; not because Boris Johnson asked us to; but because it is in the interests of our country … and our economy.”
Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said: “The business community, like the wider Australian community, sees the economic potential of new-energy businesses and they are looking for the sort of leadership being provided by Minister Kean and Mr Bowen.
“At the Nature Conservation Council we are in the business of changing hearts and minds.
“We’ve launched this business breakfast series because we think our work of grassroots organising, of talking to Australians in their own communities about nature and climate action, and building the capacity in communities is not just good lefty activism, it is also good business.
“The business community is increasingly seeing the work we do and the agendas that we are setting as more than morally worthy, but also aligned to their strategic interests.”