‘A Burning Issue’: Mike Cannon-Brookes at UN Climate Summit


Governments and businesses will meet in New York this week to discuss climate change targets, along with Atlassian co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes who says his company will make a commitment to reduce emissions.

“We have a responsibility to act,” Cannon-Brookes said of his New York presence this week for the UN Climate Action Summit.

From Monday the summit will see leaders from across 60 countries gather for the United Nations General Assembly and climate summit to discuss “concrete” plans to reduce carbon emissions.

“The world is here to address a burning issue,” the billionaire co-founder of Australian software giant Atlassian said.

“We know that we have to do our bit to reduce our impact on the planet. If we don’t, we’re cooked.

“Having no policy framework is like having no compass in the desert—you’ve got buckley’s chance of finding your way.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Pacific Islands Forum in August
▲ Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Pacific Islands Forum in August.

Last year Cannon-Brookes challenged Prime minister Scott Morrison over Australia's energy policies, as he targeted support for the transition to 100 per cent renewable energy.

“As a nation, we should be leading the charge on this,” Cannon-Brookes said.

“After all, by the end of this month, our entire capital city and parliament will be powered by renewable energy—the first outside Europe! That’s an amazing story of opportunity for us to tell.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres has urged governments and businesses to come to New York and announce an increase in their climate change ambition and targets.

“He wants them to show up at the UN and put their commitments on the table. The UN is expecting many governments and businesses to make this commitment,” the Atlassian co-CEO said.

“It’s pretty simple, we are responding to the science.”

Related: Lendlease, Frasers Top Global Sustainable Property Rankings

Cannon-Brookes says Atlassian is announcing a target of net zero emissions by no later than 2050 at this years summit.

The company is the first major Australian company to join the Business Ambition for 1.5 Degrees.

It will join 87 global companies on the agreement.

Other businesses committing to net zero emissions include Vodafone, HP, AstraZeneca, Singtel, Unilever.

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