Queensland climate summit focuses on speeding up low carbon economy

21 November 2009

More than 100 business leaders, scientists and thought leaders joined the Queensland Government and The Climate Group (TCG) on Wednesday 4 November to discuss the best strategies to progress Queensland's low-carbon economy.

Hosted by Premier Anna Bligh and TCG's CEO Steve Howard, The Queensland Climate Summit focused on the key policy issues that will underpin the state's continued economic competitiveness and prosperity as it strives to make long term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The summit was opened by a video message video message from former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who urged attendees to look at the opportunities that action on climate change would present:

"I believe we can ensure that progress towards a low carbon future means economic growth and prosperity as well as a safer climate."

"By focusing on practical solutions, Queensland can be at the forefront of the green economic revolution," Mr Blair said.

Topics covered throughout the day included how the state can make investment in the low carbon economy more attractive; planning for new low carbon cities and infrastructure; maximising green jobs growth; and, exploring the opportunities for mitigation and adaption in rural Queensland. 

In opening the Summit, Premier Anna Bligh said that Queensland would continue to take a leadership role on climate change and emphasised the importance of a solid working partnership between business and government:  "If we are to get the best result for this state, government cannot just act on its own. We need the help and support of businesses."

Steve Howard said that in working to reduce emissions, Queensland had a number of natural advantages that would benefit its economy in the future: "Queensland has huge potential in areas such as renewable and solar energy. As these sectors develop, they will stimulate the creation of new jobs and economic growth."

Former Australian of the Year and Australian Deputy Chair of TCG, Tim Flannery underlined the event's value: "The dialogue and understanding that events like this build are absolute gold dust in ensuring that we make this journey together.  It is critically important that businesses of all sizes continue to engage with government on this issue if we are to succeed."

Australian Director of The Climate Group, Rupert Posner, said the Summit had provided the foundation for closer work between business and government in Queensland that would make a real difference: "The enthusiasm and support from so many Government Ministers and business leaders means there are some exciting opportunities ahead for Queensland.  We look forward to helping make them a reality."

Read our full Queensland Climate Summit Report.

The Business Guide to the Low Carbon Economy: Queensland

The summit was proceeded by the launch of the Business Guide to the Low Carbon Economy: Queensland. Commissioned by the Queensland Government and prepared by The Climate Group in partnership with Arup, the new guide provides practical steps for businesses to get on top of measuring and curbing greenhouse gas emissions from their operations. It also provides an overview of climate change policies and programs in Queensland with a view to helping companies develop a strategy to suit their individual situation. In doing so, it will help businesses reduce costs and unlock new opportunities for growth.

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