COP21 Debrief – Business Challenges and Opportunities

Australia Day and a debriefing of COP21 merged to make an interesting night for ABIE members and their guests. The evening, hosted by Australian Ambassador The Hon. Stephen Brady A.O. CVO., was kindly sponsored by KEOLIS.

COP21 DEBRIEF – ‘BUSINESS CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES’ – was the theme of the event, which was held at the Australian Embassy on Monday January 25th.

From left to right: Ambassador Stephen Brady pictured with guest speaker Thomas Spencer, IDDRI and Bernard Tabary, ABIE President and CEO International, Keolis.


From left to right: Ambassador Stephen Brady pictured with guest speaker Thomas Spencer, IDDRI and Bernard Tabary, ABIE President and CEO International, Keolis.

In his opening address, Ambassador Brady praised the leadership of the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, saying in his 30 years of experience, he had never seen such “political nimbleness”, and he gave the French negotiating team credit for much of COP21’s success.

One of Minister Fabius’s advisors was Australian guest speaker, Thomas Spencer, Programme Director, Energy and Climate, Institut du Développment Durable et des Relations Internationales (IDDRI), Sciences Po, a not for profit research organization.

Mr Spencer said COP21 set long term agreements for 188 countries, to be reinforced by domestic policy and inscribed in domestic law. All countries would report their results to the United Nations every two years, and compliance mechanisms would apply.

“Business driven outcomes are important, and business groups sent a strong signal that they were prepared to play their part”, he said. “Certainly we need classic legal agreements, but also incentives for businesses to comply.”

He said there was already a significant shift away from coal around the world, citing a 15-20% drop in China’s imports which would impact on an Australian economy, which had 600 million tonnes of coal production in the pipeline.

While costs for clean technology were falling rapidly, he said, for countries to meet their targets set for 2020 much more emphasis would need to be placed on renewables.

A cocktail celebrating AUSTRALIA DAY (January 26) followed the COP21 DEBRIEF providing networking opportunities for the 45 ABIE members and guests who attended and the chance to share their thoughts on this engaging topic.

A special thank you to ABIE’s event sponsor KEOLIS, Thomas Spencer, our guest speaker and the Australian Embassy Paris: Ambassador Stephen Brady, and Andrew Willis, First Secretary (moderator) for their participation and support and making it such a successful event.