The conference, held on Friday. was organised by the Department of the Environment and former Lord Mayor and climate activist Martin Haese, and brought in around 900 audience members to talk about South Australia’s position in renewable energy.
Tim Jarvis’s talk at the conference revolved around the state of the world and climate effects he has witnessed while exploring some of the most remote areas of the planet, including Antarctica.
“My talk was about what I think the state of the planet means for us here in Australia, specifically South Australia, including challenges but also opportunities,” Jarvis said.
The environmental scientist, author and adventurer has travelled the world investigating and documenting the effects of climate change and said that South Australia is uniquely poised to lead the world on renewable energy solutions.
“We’re the driest inhabited state on the driest inhabited continent, yet we have a very skilful workforce and all the mineral resources we need to build renewable energy solutions,” he said.
“And it’s obviously in our interests to do something about it because we are climate exposed.”
South Australia achieved the feat of running off 100 per cent renewable energy for over 10 hours at the end of 2022, making the state the first gigawatt scale grid in the world to do so.
“We want to be keeping ahead of the game and showing the way for others to follow,” Jarvis said.
“I think we need to now turn our attention to showing leadership in other areas that produce Co2. Things like waste, industrial processes, transport, land use and agriculture.
“We’re greening our grid, and this is really wonderful. The next step is looking at what industry in South Australia can do in terms of addressing those other causes of Co2 and showing leadership as we have done with renewables.”
Experts and leaders in the construction, transport, mining, manufacturing and heavy industry, services, and agriculture sectors spoke at the conference about decarbonising and reducing emissions in their industries.
“I think we’re the right people to do it. We have a long and proud tradition of social and environmental innovation and leadership,” Jarvis said.
“We have the solutions. We just need to start employing them at scale.”
Other speakers at the conference included entrepreneur and author Jon Dee discussing how businesses were adapting to the low emissions economy, and Investor Group on Climate Change CEO, Rebecca Mikula-Wright, presenting the global trajectory toward net zero.
Economist and Chair at Superpower Institute, Rod Sims gave a talk on South Australia’s position to capitalise on transitioning to net zero emissions.
Two panel discussions covered the implementation of net zero in small and family business sectors, and commercial and supply chain risks posed by climate change to businesses and trade in South Australia.
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