The Sunrise Project supports multiple programs that change the world.
Shifting Global Finance
Despite the progress made through the Paris Climate Agreement, most governments are failing to act with the required scale and urgency to limit greenhouse pollution and transition to clean energy. Short-term decision making and the political influence of the fossil fuel lobby continues to obstruct and delay government action. In this context, the business community, and the finance sector in particular, has a critical role to play in driving climate action.
Australia Beyond Coal and Gas
Burning coal is the biggest single cause of global warming. Australia is the largest exporter of coal and our electricity sector is one of the dirtiest and most coal dependent in the world. We recently replaced Qatar as the largest gas (LNG) exporter in the world. Australia now sits only behind Russia and Saudi Arabia as the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in world.
Meanwhile, we continue to squander our natural advantage in renewable energy and are failing to support local communities to plan for the inevitable transition beyond coal and gas. Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world. Phasing out coal plants and repowering Australia with 100% renewable energy is not only possible, it is cheaper and easier than we are led to believe.
Protecting Australian Ecosystems
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most remarkable ecosystems on Earth. But this natural treasure is a canary in the coal mine in terms of climate change impacts. 2016 and 2017 saw unprecedented back-to-back coral bleaching events with impacts stretching over 1500km – two-thirds of the length of the Reef. It is estimated that half of the shallow water corals in the Reef are now dead.