Gene Blackley of Drawdown Australia predicts lucrative investments in climate solutions
“Climate change isn’t something that’s happening to us, it’s something that’s happening for us,” said Gene Blackley, Founder & Climate Solutions Advocate for Drawdown Australia, during the ATMOsphere Australia 2020 conference held online on July 28.
ATMOsphere Australia was organized by shecco, publisher of this website, and includes support from the Gold Sponsor, AJ Baker & Sons, and the Silver Sponsor, Arneg.
Project Drawdown has identified refrigerant management as one of the most important climate-change mitigation strategies among 76 currently analyzed by the program. In its most recent report, Project Drawdown said refrigerant management and alternative refrigerants can cut over 100Gt of GHG by 2050 – almost twice what all nations generated in 2018.
Drawdown Australia is one of the Project Drawdown “hubs” that have also formed in the U.S., Europe and Canada. It is furthering the mission of Project Drawdown in the Australian market.
Blackley explained that investment in climate-change solutions today should not be seen as costs, but as lucrative investments in the future, especially in Australia.
“A fundamental reshaping of finance is underway,” Blackley said, citing a CNBC article from January titled “Here’s how the world’s largest money manager is overhauling its strategy because of climate change.”
The article stated that BlackRock CEO Larry Fink sees climate change becoming “a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.”
This is resulting in “divestment all over the world,” Blackley said, citing a July article in the Australian Financial Reviewtitled “Fossil fuel stocks underperformed for a decade: report.”
Referring to a new report from the Australia Institute, the article stated that “fossil fuel stocks had lagged the wider market over the decade even before March of this year when the coronavirus pandemic “wiped off around half their market values.”
“The decline is underway,” Blackley said. “This is one of the hints that shows us that money has shifted.”
Blackley added that “it is not just capital but also debt.”
“Australia’s largest banks have shown that they are no longer willing to support new projects, particularly in coal,” he said.
Citing Australia’s opportunity to be a competitive renewable energy exporter in the near future, Blackley said “There’s an opportunity in Australia to create the world’s cheapest electricity. Australia is in a unique position.”
Climate change isn’t something that’s happening to us, it’s something that’s happening for us."
– Gene Blackley, Drawdown Australia