The Paris Agreement – what it really means for Australian organisations

Today, the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change comes into force.

Thrashed out at the UN’s 2015 climate change conference, its goal is to keep the global temperature rise well under two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.

It’s a significant international milestone.

Emily Gerrard is the Co-Head of the Climate Change Group from law firm Allens, one of TAKE2’s Founding Partners. "This will drive change and increase ambition here in Australia and around the world to tackle global warming."

Some of the world’s leading emitters of polluting greenhouse gases – China, the United States and India – have joined the agreement. While Australia is yet to formally ratify it, it’s expected to do so before the end of the year.

Once Australia officially joins, the Federal Government will need to create five-yearly targets towards achieving zero net emissions in the second half of this century. It also needs to outline how the nation will achieve those targets.

The agreement will drive countries to become more ambitious in their climate change goals over time.

Here in Australia a lot of activities that effect the environment, such as land management, urban design and planning and environmental regulation, are controlled by State and Federal Governments.

Local governments are also leaders in supporting communities to live more sustainably. In this way, the Paris Agreement has been made at the international level but is implemented at a state and local level.

Here in Victoria, businesses that have signed onto TAKE2 are already contributing to the collective push to help the world fulfil its Paris Agreement commitments.

"While there are already some laws that require certain businesses to account for and report on their environmental performance, changing community attitudes, including those of customers, investors and regulators, can also have a significant effect on businesses that ignore their contribution to global warming," Ms Gerrard said.

"Being good at business is important, but so too is being a good business."

Sign up your business to TAKE2 today.