Climate & Energy
What We're Doing
On climate, Australia has passed a crucial milestone. After a decade of denial and delay, the Albanese government has passed the historic Climate Change Bill (2022).
It means that Australia has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and is on course to increase renewable energy from 33% currently, to 82% by 2030. We are on the cusp of a massive energy transformation.
Our government is taking a sector by sector approach to lowering emissions. Our Powering Australia Plan targets electricity, transport and heavy industry with modelling showing a reduction in emissions of 43% by 2030. This interim target however, represents a floor rather than a ceiling to our ambition.
The International Energy Agency has commended the Albanese Government in significantly stepping up the country’s climate ambition, action, and energy transformation.
Net Zero Authority
We’re establishing a Net Zero Authority to support workers, industries, and communities through our energy transformation. The new, legislated Net Zero Authority will:
- Support the workers in emissions-intensive sectors to equip themselves with new skills and gain new employment.
- Coordinate government programs and policies to make sure regional communities can take advantage of new emerging renewable industries.
- Help investors and industry engage with net zero transformation opportunities.
The Albanese Government is turning Australia into a renewable energy superpower and has committed over $40 billion to making this happen. The Climate Change Bill (2022) has also brought certainty, opening the floodgates to investment from the private sector as well. Data from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) shows that in 2022, large scale wind and solar farm investment commitments grew by 50%. Government funded projects include:
- The Albanese Government partnering with the Palaszczuk Government to deliver a $117 million investment that will unlock Australia’s hydrogen potential. It will fund the development of Queensland’s largest renewable hydrogen project, in Gladstone. It is within the top 10 hydrogen projects in the world that are at a similar stage of development. It is expected to create almost 9,000 jobs and over $17.2 billion in hydrogen exports over its 30-year lifetime.
- The 2023-24 Budget is delivering $2 billion for a new Hydrogen Headstart program to support development of Australia’s renewable hydrogen industry.
- The creation of 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships, to ensure training in jobs for the future as our economy transitions to be a renewable energy superpower.
- A $20 million investment in technology to help farmers store carbon.
- Release of 6 offshore wind areasby the Minister for Climate Change and Energy
- Investment of $1 billion by Black Rock in grid scale batteries, its largest international investment by the world’s largest investment fund
- A $47.5 million investment by ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy National Agency) in a 10MW green hydrogen electrolyser in Karratha, Western Australia, as well as a $65 million investment in a ground-breaking solar thermal project.
- The Rewiring the Nation Plan will invest $20 billion to modernise our electricity grid on the east coast to enable large scale renewable energy projects. It will fast-track Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) and offshore wind development. This will deliver new renewable power and drive down power prices, creating jobs and support reliability of electricity supply. It includes investment in the Victoria-New South Wales Interconnector (VNI West) KerangLink and the Marinus Link interconnector
- The VNI-West KerangLink will unlock 4,000 MW of new power generation, supporting more than 2,000 direct jobs during construction and generating $1.8 billion in net market benefits - including for electricity users
- The Marinus Link, the biggest energy investment since 1974, a proposed electricity and telecommunications interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria will deliver low-cost, reliable and clean energy. It is set to create 1,400 jobs in Victoria
- The signing of the Clean Energy Demand Initiativebetween Australia and the United States to break down barriers for US companies like Apple, Johnson and Johnson and Amazon, to invest in Australia’s energy sector
- The signing of the Australia-United States Net Zero Technology Acceleration Partnership
- The passage of our Labor Bill to cut the price of electric vehiclesthrough the lower house
- Release of our National Electric Vehicle Strategydiscussion paper which welcomes submissions on fuel standards
- Appointment of 3 outstanding women to the Climate Change Authority including the first Indigenous woman, Dr. Virginia Marshall, Professor Lesley Hughes, and Ms Sam Mostyn AO
- Release of $43 million in funding through Australian Renewable Energy National Agency (ARENA)to help industry reduce emissions. This includes a $9.1 million grant towards helping Shell Australia demonstrate how commercial and industrial users can save on their energy bills by using renewable energy. This grant will help fund the $31.6 million Commercialising Smart Energy Hub, which will encourage ‘flexible demand,’ energy services at supermarkets, shopping centres and refrigerated distribution centres
- A new green energy project using geothermal energy as part of the Australian War Memorial’s redevelopment which will save approximately $1.3 million per year on heating and cooling
- The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Reform Bill2022, which includes stronger measures to reduce emissions and manage substances that harm the ozone layer
- Upgrades to the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). The scheme can now rate the energy performance for the whole home, and updates to the National Construction Code (NCC)minimum energy requirements will help new homeowners save an average of $183 on their power bills every year. The updates will require all new Australian homes to meet a minimum energy efficiency rating of 7 stars
- The National Energy Performance Strategy, consultation will improve energy efficiency and create healthier, more comfortable homes
- Establishment of a High Speed Rail Authority to start planning this multigenerational project that will reduce our dependency on aviation for intercity travel. My speech can be found here
- $45 million towards a 250-megawatt renewable underground storage project in Broken Hill, which which uses a disused mine to enable fuel free energy storage involving compressed air to power homes and businesses in the evening, placing downward pressure on energy prices.
- The Albanese Government will join 122 countries around the world in signing the methane pledge - to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030
- Permanently cancelling Commonwealth-held Kyoto 'carryover' credits which will prevent future governments from using the offsets to meet the country's climate targets.
- The Albanese Government is making sure South Australia and Victoria have enough clean, affordable and reliable energy by opening registrations for the South Australia and Victorian Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS). The program will deliver 600 megawatts of backup clean energy to ensure Australia enough reliable energy for homes and businesses as the energy market transforms.
- Investing in the switch to EV’s through supporting the initiation of Australia’s largest EV fleet charging project in Port Melbourne.
- An $11 million investment to back in Australian solar technology developers SunDrive to manufacture the world’s most efficient solar modules. This investment in solar will make cleaner and cheaper solar power even more affordable through advancing production of PV cells to 15,000 a year and decreasing installation costs by 20-30%.
- Improving charging access for cleaner, cheaper-to-run cars, with the first of 50 power pole-mounted EV chargers switched on across New South Wales.
- The Albanese Government is backing the development of a hydrogen-powered aircraft to help first responders and defence personnel save lives and better meet the needs of Australians living in regional and remote areas.
- The Federal Labor Government has approved a new renewable energy hub in Plumpton, Victoria which will power over 1 million households.
Climate integrity means making sure everyone - government, the public service, corporates and the fossil fuel industry - is honest and accountable for their carbon emissions. The Albanese Government takes integrity very seriously, and has initiated or strengthened the following processes:
- The Climate Change Authority provides independent expert advice on climate change policy. The Authority conducts and commissions its own independent research and analysis. The Albanese Government has appointed three new members to the Council – Prof Lesley Hughes, Dr Virginia Marshall and Ms Sam Mostyn AO.
- The Australian Clean Energy Regulator is an independent statutory authority which administers schemes to manage Australia’s carbon emissions. Just as a water authority can detect corrupt or other unhelpful behaviour in the distribution and use of water, the Clean Energy Regulator keeps a watchful eye on carbon credits.
- We have passed the Safeguard Mechanism through the lower house, which will improve transparency and accountability measures.
- We have reported Australia’s emissions to the United Nations annual National Inventory Report. This is Australia – and the world’s – first National Inventory Report that meets the requirements of the Paris Agreement. This is an example of the Albanese Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in both a national and international context.
The Albanese Government’s actions to cap coal and gas prices have been effective at limiting energy price spikes.
- Increases in energy prices have been $492 less than they would have been without Government intervention and up to $1,084 less than they would have been for small businesses.
- We have partner with the states and territories to deliver up to $3 billion in direct and targeted energy relief for households and businesses.
- Peter Dutton and his Liberal-National coalition have voted against every dollar of bill relief.
- The Australian Energy Market Operator has released their latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics report which shows that wholesale electricity prices averages $63 per megawatt hour (MWh) in September quarter, down 41% from the June quarter ($108/MWh) and 71% ($216/MWh) from Q3 2022.
- In the medium to long term, we are accelerating through a massive energy transformation because we know the cheapest form of energy is renewable energy. This is the ultimate way to take the pressure off bills and shield Australia from volatile international energy prices.
- We are in the final stages of consultation for the mandatory code of conduct (Gas code). The code will ensure sufficient supply of Australian gas for Australian users and at reasonable prices.
- The Government consulted on questions relating to the design of the Gas code between 9 December 2022 and 7 February 2023. Over 60 submissions were received. A second round of consultation was undertaken between 26 April 2023 and 12 May 2023 to allow stakeholders to consider an exposure draft of the code. Over 40 submissions were received.
- We are rolling out the Community Batteries for Household Solar Program which will deliver 400 community batteries across the country. This will help lower energy bills, deliver reliable renewable energy, and take pressure off the grid.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022 introduced by the Albanese Government has now passed both Houses of Parliament. This bill is good for motorists, good for business and their staff, and good for the environment.
- The Albanese Government will remove the 5% import tariff on eligible electric cars.
- The FBT exemption will apply to battery electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell electric cars and plug in hybrid electric cars. The exemption will be available for eligible electric cars with a first retail price below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel efficient cars ($84,916 for 2022 23), and first made available for use on or after 1 July 2022. The FBT Exemption will save $9000 for a $50,000 car provided by an employer.
National Electric Vehicle Strategy
- We released Australia’s first ever National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
- A key part of the strategy will be introducing a Fuel Efficiency Standard.
- We are currently consulting with industry and the community to finalise the details of this. Over 80% of the global car market has vehicle fuel efficiency standards that outline how much carbon dioxide a car will produce when running. Currently, Australia and Russia are the only major economics without these.
- Introducing fuel efficiency standards will increase the supply of EVs in Australia and reduce fuel costs for Australians. It is estimated that they could save motorists $519 a year in fuel costs.
- We’re preparing a recycling, reuse and stewardship initiative for EVs and other large format batteries that will be world leading.
Making EVs more accessible
- Upfront costs are a huge barrier for Australians when considering whether or not to buy an EV. We’re providing $40 million in support for discounted loans on the cleanest vehicles.
- Discounted financing on EVs under $90,000 with strong emissions standards will help drive growth of the Australian market while providing access to cleaner and cheaper cars.
- We’re putting 1,000 EVs in the hands of Australian businesses. We’re providing $6.2 million in funding towards a project which will help business owners switch to EVs.
“The 'One Health' model encompassing human, animal and environmental health immediately elevates stewardship. Our First Nations have known this all along. We cannot privilege one above the other because we are nourished physically and spiritually by the natural world”. - Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, First Speech, 1 August 2022