“Just transition” has been an increasing area of focus for Ethical Partners over the past few years, both with our direct company analysis and engagement but also through our advocacy in the policy space. We believe this is crucial to enabling the protection of people and regional economies through the required but difficult energy transition that Australia must undergo.
As such, Ethical Partners was pleased to be a signatory to this letter to the Prime Minister in March 2023, which underlined our belief in ensuring that the net zero transition is a just transition, in which the risks and benefits are shared equally across Australian society. The letter further calls for effective federal planning, coordination, and leadership on the transition, in order to prevent economic stagnation, social upheaval, and the delayed progress of the clean energy transition. It also calls for a federal authority with dedicated funding, a long-term mandate, and key roles to play in workers support, regional economic diversification and education and training.
This is additionally something that Ethical Partners heard loudly and clearly the calls for, from many diverse stakeholders, including business, unions, worker advocates and local governments, when we visited the Hunter Valley in 2022 to better understand the just transition issues facing this region.
We are therefore very pleased to see this commitment by government to support workers, coordinate programs and policies across government, seize the opportunities of new clean energy industries, and additionally to help companies and investors engage with net zero opportunities. We also particularly welcome the governments specific commitments to work with First Nations groups, unions, and industry.
Whilst long overdue, and with much to do, we believe that the establishment of this authority is a vital step, and a powerful recognition of both these voices, and the work required to accelerate this transition in a fair and equitable manner. Ethical Partners looks forward to continuing to engage with the government on the development of this agency, and providing our investor feedback on its role, functions, powers and legislative capacity as well as its successful implementation and engagement with ASX listed companies and investors.
Ethical Partners are pleased to see Australia take the next steps to implement mandatory climate reporting with the release of draft climate standards, which we provided feedback on.
Ethical Partners have continuously called for the provision of high quality, comparable data on company’s climate governance and carbon metrics, which we believe is imperative for investors to fulfil the potential of responsible investment.
Ethical Partners have been proud to have been active supporters of the TNFD Forum over the past few years, and to provide regular feedback on the development of the official TNFD recommendations, which were launched in December, as well as to be active members of the RIAA Natural Capital Working Group.