Australian businesses are uniquely placed to benefit from a boom in "climate tech" over the coming decade, according to new insights from the Commonwealth Bank.

Climate tech, which is forecast to grow ninefold over the next decade2, refers to a diverse group of technologies that are focused on addressing climate change, ranging from electric vehicles (EVs), to new developments like low-carbon cement, to tools to measure and report on emissions.

Speaking ahead of a CBA-hosted climate tech panel discussion at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Sydney today, Alex Matthews, General Manager of Climate Strategy at CommBank, said that the expected growth in climate tech offers unique opportunities for Australian businesses – both to transition themselves as well as drive economic growth.

“Funding for climate tech in Australia has accelerated in recent years, and Australian ventures hope to raise $1.5 billion in the next 12 months3. With strong research and development, a thriving start-up ecosystem, and pools of capital, Australia is well-positioned to capture the opportunity,” said Mr Matthews.

CBA research indicates Australian businesses are taking action, with nearly 58 per cent (or nearly three in five) businesses already adopting a sustainability initiative such as reducing carbon emissions, green energy initiatives, sustainable waste management or reducing water usage.  A further 49 per cent are planning to adopt further measures. But 60% of businesses report that costs and lack of funding are primary barriers.4

“We see climate tech playing a critical role in not only in providing new solutions for consumers and business but also helping address cost barriers through efficiencies in the ways these solutions are developed and brought to market.

“We’ve seen this in practice already as innovation has drastically reduced the cost of solar panels in the past years, making these technologies more affordable for Australian businesses and households.”

Innovating for a net-zero future: the climate tech imperative

Monday 16 October 2023, 11.30am - 12.30pm - Room C3.2 - ICC Sydney

Reaching net zero calls for major innovation to bring new technologies to market as soon as possible, and trillions in investment in the coming decades. Learn how research organisations, start-ups, investors and corporates are collaborating on the path towards net zero, and the importance of climate tech investment to get us there. Brought to you by CommBank.


  • Moderator - Alex Matthews, General Manager, Climate Strategy CommBank
  • Katherine McConnell - CEO & Co-Founder, Brighte
  • Paul Hunyor - Managing Director & Co-founder, Wollemi
  • Kirstin Hunter - Managing Director (NSW), Techstars

About SXSW Sydney        

Futurist conference and festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) Sydney, will see the Asia-Pacific’s pre-eminent creative industries come together in the heart of Sydney. The event is a week-long program stacked with more than 1,000 ground-breaking events and networking sessions across pillars of Tech and Innovation, Games, Music, Screen and Culture. Informed by a multicultural landscape and an enduring preservation of past, present and future Indigenous cultural heritage, Sydney offers a rich and exciting arts and culture scene with beautiful galleries, acclaimed theatres and burgeoning performance spaces.

1 ESG Pulse Check Survey, 526 Australian businesses in total from Small Business – Commercial. April - May 2023, CBA Business Brand tracker

2 Global Climate Tech report, Future Market Insights, 2023.

3 Climate Salad’s Australian Climate Technology Industry Report 2023

4 ESG Pulse Check Survey, 526 Australian businesses in total from Small Business – Commercial. April – May 2023, CBA Business Brand tracker

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