Earth Day 2021 had a clear theme — Restore Our Earth.
To mark the day, Australia announced 8 new ways to support our climate action.
Investing a further $1.1 billion in clean technology
Our plan to drive the development and deployment of clean technology identified 5 priority technologies: clean hydrogen, energy storage green steel and aluminium, carbon capture and soil carbon sequestration.
After identifying the technologies we need on our journey to zero, we set ambitious stretch targets for each — but to achieve them, we know we need to make strategic investments that create jobs and reduce emissions.
That's why we have invested in three new low-emissions technology projects.
1 — Four more clean hydrogen hubs
We're investing $275.5 million to support the development of 4 additional clean hydrogen hubs in regional Australia, trial a hydrogen certification scheme and support legal and market reforms.
These are all about getting the hydrogen industry going — and achieving our stretch target of delivering hydrogen at under $2 per kilogram.
By creating these hubs and backing the growth of the hydrogen industry, we are supporting jobs, and getting the settings right for Australia to become a green hydrogen powerhouse.
2 — Development of carbon capture and storage
From the International Energy Agency to the IPCC, the view is clear: the Paris goals cannot be achieved without carbon sequestration deployed at scale.
Ensuring we can get emissions down in hard-to-abate industries while creating jobs is critical — and that's why we've set a stretch target of CO₂ compression, hub transport, and storage at under $20 per tonne of CO₂.
We're investing $263.7 million to support the development of CCS/CCUS projects and hubs.
Carbon capture technologies will provide a potential decarbonisation pathway for hard-to-abate industries such as natural gas processing and cement.
3 — Bold international partnerships for low-emissions technology
If we want to get emissions down, we need to slash the green premium on the next-generation of low-emissions technologies.
Australia can't achieve that alone — and that's why we'll invest more than half a billion dollars in building strategic international partnerships to make low emissions technologies cheaper than high emitting alternatives.
The Government will deliver $565.8 million to establish low emissions technology partnerships and initiatives with key trading and strategic partners — including the UK.
This funding will advance and support the goals of Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap as we ramp up our effort to reduce emissions while supporting economic growth and lowering energy costs.
With partner countries, Australia will co-fund research and demonstration projects that drive down the costs of low emissions technologies and facilitate the deployment and export of home-grown low emissions technologies and energy.
Delivering $100 million to protect our oceans
As the world’s only island continent, Australia has always understood that how we manage our oceans and coastal environments will determine the success or failure of our world’s efforts to address climate change.
The Australian Government will make an additional $100 million investment to continue leading the world and our region in how we manage our ocean habitats and coastal environments and contribute to the global task of reducing emissions.
The investment package will target ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems that involve seagrass and mangroves playing a key role in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere. The package will also support Australian Marine Parks, expand the Indigenous Protected Areas into Sea Country and protect marine life.
4 — Leading the world in marine park management
- $19.4 million to be delivered through two additional rounds of the successful Our Marine Parks Grants program which will create opportunities for industry, community organisations and Indigenous communities to further engage and connect with the management of Australian Marine Parks.
- $15 million towards ocean discovery and restoration projects to help us understand more about our marine parks.
- $5.4 million for steps to support the health and sustainability of the pristine waters around Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories.
5— Protecting the environment, and providing economic opportunity to Indigenous Australians
- $11.6 million will be delivered over two years to incorporate Sea Country in Indigenous Protected Areas in nine locations, to provide Indigenous communities with economic and employment opportunities.
6— Restoring and accounting for our blue carbon ecosystems
- $30.6 million will be invested in practical action to restore and account for blue carbon ecosystems. This will improve the health of coastal environments in Australia and around the region and export Australia’s internationally recognized expertise in ocean accounting, while boosting regional employment and enabling us to account for the value of these habitats as blue carbon repositories
- Almost $19 million will go to four major on-ground projects restoring coastal ecosystems across the country, including tidal marshes, mangroves and seagrasses
- $10 million will provide three major on-ground projects to assist developing countries in the region restore and protect their blue carbon ecosystems
- Over $1 million will help to solidify Australia as a leader in ocean and natural capital accounting assistance – this enables us to understand and account for the environmental and economic benefits of protecting these critical ecosystems.
7 — Protecting iconic marine species, improving fishery sustainability and stimulating investment in our oceans
- $18 million will target practical actions to protect iconic marine species, improve the sustainability of our fisheries through reducing bycatch and stimulate investment in our oceans
- $10 million will deliver ocean health through at least 25 targeted projects to restore and protect threatened marine species, eradicate invasive species from our islands and restore coastal habitats.
- $5 million will fund new and innovative measures to support the marine environment and sustainable fisheries through practical measures to avoid bycatch of threatened species
- $3 million will support the roll-out of ocean accounting at a national scale
The package will create regional jobs, engage coastal and Indigenous communities and the private sector, deliver actions to improve environmental outcomes for species and ecosystems, and provide a clear pathway for working with all sectors to realise Australia’s ocean potential.
Building a high-integrity carbon offset scheme for the Indo-Pacific region
The Emissions Reduction Fund is one of the largest and most robust offset schemes in the world. We see an opportunity to work with our Indo-Pacific partners, and pass on the know-how and success of that program to reduce emissions and create jobs.
8 — The Indo-Pacific Carbon Offset Scheme
The Australian Government will invest $59.9 million in setting up a high-integrity carbon offset scheme for Australia and countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Like what we have achieved through our Emissions Reduction Fund, we see a chance to boost public and private investment in climate action while also helping Australia and countries in the region meet their international climate change commitments
The Indo-Pacific Carbon Offset Scheme will be designed in close partnership with partner countries and the private sector.