Increasing prominence of climate change in public and business sentiment

The public’s awareness of climate change and view on it is enabling greater dialogue and scrutiny of governments and private institutions. Businesses are being pushed to do more to consider climate change mitigation and adaptation and political will in Australia is shifting. The likelihood of ‘ greenwashing’ is likely to increase.

Changes we are seeing

The general public, governments, private industry and not-for-profit sectors continue to engage more on climate issues.

  • Increasing global commitments to climate change risk reporting with various standards (such as the International Sustainability Standards Board / Greenhouse Gas Protocol)

Greater demand for increased transparency from public, private and non-for-profit sectors – which includes scientists.

  • Science Based Targets are improving voluntary target-setting and mandatory climate-related financial risk disclosure.
  • Edelman Trust Barometer suggests that 'Australia’s trust bubble has burst' with societal trust declining for business (63% in 2021 to 58% to 2022), government (61% to 52%), media (61% to 43%) and non-government organisations 62% to 58%)1.

There are growing risks and challenges associated with 'greenwashing'

  • Increasing global litigation related to climate change – the number of cases against governments based on treaty obligations, particularly the Paris Agreement, is increasing, and so is litigation against private entity “greenwashing” claims.

Business are doing more to consider climate change impacts and risks. 

  • Banking and financial industries are doing more to price in climate risk. 
  • Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) metrics are increasingly being used alongside traditional economic measures to assess organisational performance.