Cleantech to be the biggest economic growth opportunity as demand grows for zero-emissions solutions

John O'Brien, Partner, Decarbonisation at Deloitte

As climate-related disasters from floods to fires increase and the threat of pandemic life continues, the need for cleantech awareness, and uptake worldwide increases too.

The role of cleantech in the economic growth and recovery post COVID, and in the face of climate change, will be the focus of the third National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition (NCTCE) in 2021, with the theme, Cleantech: from disruption to transition.

The National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition

As Australia’s only multi-sector cleantech event, the two-day event scheduled for November in Brisbane, provides a platform for collaboration, learning, networking, and business between innovators, investors, producers, and commercial end-users of clean technology.

Early bird tickets are available until June 30, with the 2021 speaker program featuring cleantech industry innovators and thought leaders from Europe, America and around Australia.

Program highlights include a panel discussion featuring a representative from each Australian state and territory and facilitated by John O’Brien, the Decarbonisation Partner at Deloitte discussing the state of cleantech in Australia.

As one of Australia’s preeminent leaders in the emergence of cleantech, John O’Brien says “while many people understand cleantech to only be renewable energy, all levels of government and large corporate entities are understanding it to be so much more.”

“The role finance companies will be asked to play – and are already playing – in reducing emissions is ramping up exponentially.”

“If you are to invest a dollar or loan a dollar, the question exists around what the emissions associated with that dollar might be,“ Mr O’Brien said.

“And while the pressure is on oil, gas and mining to embrace cleantech solutions and make the transition to them, consumers are also looking for carbon neutral options on their products every day – from booking flights to buying beer,” he said.

“This is where the opportunity for cleantech entrepreneurs is so great.”

“It is becoming universally understood that the cost of doing nothing about climate change is simply too great for economies the world over”

“Cleantech solutions can be found across all sectors from water, energy, waste, transport, agriculture, manufacturing, and the built environment.”

“The economic and financial factors around cleantech solutions are driving the uptake as much as environmental factors, which is pleasing to see, but it’s a steady process.”

“Cleantech offers solutions to the big climate challenges and consumers are now demanding these solutions – there’s simply no better time to act than now.”

It’s a sentiment shared by the CEO of Australian organisation Beyond Zero Emissions, Heidi Lee, who will facilitate a panel discussion on how coal producing regions can transition to green economies, using the Ruhr Valley in Germany as a case study.

“One of the biggest opportunities in Australia right now is to capture the rapidly growing market for zero-emissions products,” she said.

“Most Australians don’t realise the many positive economic and social benefits the transition to zero emissions will bring for us.”

“There’ll be household cost savings, and as a society we have some of the best renewable resources in the world, so we’ll be a top-tier choice for global businesses to operate.”

“But this opportunity isn’t well understood, particularly in regions where the local economy is currently dependent on fossil fuels.”

“Through showcasing zero-emissions solutions in these places, we’re able to promote the benefits and opportunities that exist, shift the public narrative, and make sure that Australia acts now to seize this opportunity.”

Australia Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap

The focus of the 2021 National Cleantech Conference & Exhibition (NCTCE) aligns strongly with the objectives of the Technology Investment Roadmap.

The road map was released in 2020, prioritising low emissions technologies with potential to deliver the strongest economic and emissions reduction outcomes for Australia.

Dedicated breakout streams in the program will also showcase cleantech implementation case studies, new innovations and technology, business growth and investment opportunities.

The adjacent Exhibition will showcase the latest solutions and service offerings in the sector. 

The two-day hybrid event will be held both in-person and live-streamed from the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to support global attendance and COVID Safe options.