A Tiny Australian NGO with a Big Idea at COP21

DECEMBER 5  2015, Beyond Zero Emissions
Immediate Release


(PARIS) Zero Emissions Byron at MAPS & DDPP event at COP21

As far as climate solutions experts go they do not get better than the combined MAPS (The Mitigation Action Plans& Scenarios) and DDPP (Deep Decarbonisation Pathways Project) teams.

These two top global decarbonisation associations are about to host day 3 of a three-day conference running in parallel with the COP21.

As important as side-events are in themselves, what is interesting here is that the MAPS DDPP event is also providing an overlap with COP21 - through invitations to national negotiators to participate on the third day.  

The day 3 program allows for "high-level dialogue on how countries can advance their transition to prosperous low carbon societies and to do that will bring together senior representatives from national Governments, businesses, the donor community and non-profit organisations".

 (Development and Mitigation Futures: MAPS & DDPP Experiences, in Paris, France running the 3rd, 4th and 6th of December 2015.)

10 Year Transitions to ZERO  - a can-do NGO shares their know-how

Perhaps the smallest not-for profit group at the MAPS  DDPP  conference table, having presented its work on day two of the invitation-only technical workshops, is also the one with the most ambitious of plans – Australian research NGO Beyond Zero Emissions.

That is the finding of Track0 analysis of over a hundred zero transition projects published in their September 2015 report ‘Who’s Getting Ready for Zero”. The Track0 reporting project reveals that BZE is one of a small handful with 10 year plans and a comprehensive cross- sector approach - not only energy.

However, the NGO is an invited participant in the MAPS DDPP COP21 side-event on the strength of its new work implementing its highly acclaimed 6-part Zero Carbon Australia series.

 BZE CEO Dr. Stephen Bygrave says the strength of the rollout model is in the solid partnership between the research team and local government.

“Running this as an implementation project with the local government of the Byron Shire Council including the mayor provides everybody involved with a reality check on what is possible.

 “For us as climate solutions researchers, we can start to get real feedback. So, it’s an essential mechanism to inform future research, making sure we get on track to zero emissions as soon as it can be done”. 

 On the essential issue of scale-ability of zero transitions BZE is also looking ahead: “From what we all learn from the Zero Emissions Byron project we can then develop a model of zero emissions transition for other communities in Australia”.

About BZE @COP21 and the Zero Carbon Communities initiative

Among all the big national, multinational and billionaires announcements in Paris this fortnight at the 21st COP a small independent Australian climate solutions think tank called Beyond Zero Emissions  is quietly getting ready to implement more than 6 years of painstaking world-class research  which has concluded that zero emissions in 10years is possible and affordable with the technology available already.

The BZE group is presenting its work at several forums throughout the climate mega-event  but says CEO Stephen  Bygrave – a university Professor and climate solutions expert – the organization is now ready to carry out a ‘rollout plan’ and has in fact already begun.

“The way we are implementing our research is through our Zero Carbon Communities initiative. The real strength of this initiative is in the solid partnership between local government and the BZE research team.  

The first local government to sign onto the initiative, with Beyond Zero Emissions as technical partners, is the iconic Byron Shire, a regional coastal shire in the state of New South Wales.

“Running this as a project with the local government of the Byron Shire Council including the mayor provides everybody involved with a reality check on what is possible.

“For us as climate solutions researchers we can start to get good feedback. So, it’s an essential mechanism to inform future research, making sure we get and stay on track to zero emissions as soon as it can be done”.

A tiny NGO in terms of staff numbers, BZE is nonetheless bolstered by hundreds of expert contributors and community ‘presenters’ in the wider climate solutions community, and  is not short of a big idea or two.
Indeed the Zero Emissions Byron project is unique in its scale of ambition which is to transition to a carbon neutral economy, across every sector, in just 10 years.

For BZE, a 10 year transition is not just an ideal. "BZE has already published the costed and detailed plans of how to do it - showing almost how many nuts and bolts, and tons of concrete would be needed - and what level of emissions reductions can happen each year and with each targeted action.

And BZE does not plan to stop with Zero Emissions Byron: “From the Zero Emissions Byron project we can then act as technical support for communities to further develop their own unique and just zero emissions transitions throughout Australia”

“We have worked out how the whole country can undergo a 10 year transition – somebody had to do it and being independent and able to draw on collaborative relationships with the climate solutions community and with universities we were in a good position to do it. 

"As a result we can state with confidence there should be nothing stopping everyone finding out what a rapid transition to a climate-safe economy would look like in their community right now”.

And BZE hinted that - even in Australia - there is a growing list of communities well on their way to doing just that and local governments who are keen to get cracking.

Editors: Immediate Release.

Dr. Stephen Bygrave, CEO                                         

Adjunct Professor - Institute of Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales, Sydney; Visiting Fellow -Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Associate - Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Melbourne University  


M +61 (0)40 890 7686 l Tel +61 (0)3 9415 1301 | S: bythegrave6 |

 T: @StephenBZE | E:Stephen.Bygrave@bze.org.au 

Beyond Zero Emissions - 2014 Winner NGO Category Green Lifestyle Awards

Beyond Zero Emissions is the award-winning Australian NGO and climate solutions think-tank co-authoring the acclaimed Zero Carbon Australia series, now in its 5th year.

The Zero Carbon Australia series is known for its expert sector-by-sector emissions analysis, fully costed projections and shift metrics scaled to 10 year zero and net zero transitions.

BZE's Zero Carbon Communities initiative is currently developing regional and council 10year zero emissions blueprints based on the entire ZCA series.