Climate Innovation: Australian Corporate Perspectives on the Role of Government



Technological innovation is the most politically palatable avenue for governments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It avoids less palatable alternatives, such as regulating social behaviour. However, technological innovation in advanced, liberal capitalist states such as Australia is the product of the interaction of science possibilities with market demands, and is primarily reliant on the choices of profit-seeking corporations. Therefore, interviews were conducted with key office-holders in Australia's most carbon-intensive industry sectors. The perspectives they offered challenge the conventional wisdom that Australian business desires less government intervention. Instead, corporate representatives expressed a desire for stronger, clearer and more strategic long-term government support. This is because a liberal economic basis for capitalism in Australia means government, more than the market, is central for climate innovation as opposed to normal market innovation.