Australia has been a CCAC partner since 2012 and has been involved in key CCAC activities in the agriculture, transport, household energy, cooling and oil and gas sectors. Australia additionally joined the Global Methane Pledge in October 2022, to which the CCAC is a Core Implementer.
To support its Paris climate targets for 2030, which it adopted into legislation in 2022, Australia launched its AUD 3.5 billion Climate Solution Package in 2019. The package’s financial envelope fills the Climate Solutions Fund (previously Emissions Reductions Fund) and invests in the new ‘Energy Efficient Communities’ programme. To support the agricultural sector in reducing emissions, the package proposes to work with farmers by revegetating degraded land. It also mandated Australia’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy, released in April 2024, which aims to increase the uptake of electric vehicles and reduce emissions in the transport sector.
The previous Emissions Reductions Fund supported low-cost emission reduction interventions across the entire economy. Under this voluntary scheme, the Australian government introduced an auction mechanism through which project supporters can bid to fulfil their abatement targets with emission reduction projects. Funded projects were focused in the oil and gas, transport and livestock sectors as well as in organic and agricultural waste treatment. The associated Safeguard Mechanism, amended in 2023, obliges Australia’s largest emitters to measure, report on, and manage their GHG emissions and keep them below a certain baseline.
The Australian Government’s Powering Australia plan includes AU$8 million to support research into and commercialisation of seaweed livestock feed supplement with the goal of reducing methane emissions, alongside investment into agricultural methane reduction from the National Reconstruction Fund. The agriculture sector is also targeted through Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011 and Rule 2015, which outline eligible methods such as: feeding nitrates to beef cattle; feeding dietary additives to milking cows; beef cattle herd management; destruction of methane generated from manure in piggeries; and destruction of methane generated from dairy manure in covered anaerobic ponds.
Australia is also investing in renewable energy and has set a Renewable Energy Target. This is complemented by a National Energy Productivity plan to improve energy productivity by 40% over the 2015 – 2030 period. This goes hand in hand with the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (2009) which serves as the overarching framework for Australia’s energy efficiency policy.
The Powering Australia plan invests in renewable energy with the objectives of creating jobs, reducing power bills, and reducing emissions. It comprises of a range of commitments in: Australian leadership; industry, agriculture, and carbon farming; transport; and electricity. The AU$20 billion Rewiring the Nation plan aims to expand and modernise the country’s electricity grids, including linking grids between states and financing offshore wind projects, solar, and batteries. The Driving the Nation Fund invests AU$500 million to reduce transport emissions and increase the uptake of electric vehicles by expanding charging infrastructure and improving affordability.
In September 2020, the Australian Government announced a range of measures to support the adoption of low-emissions technologies. For example, the former Future Fuels Package, now built upon by the Driving the Nation Fund, aimed to enable businesses to integrate new vehicle technologies into their fleets, thus aiming to reduce emissions from the transport sector. A Technology Co-Investment Fund supports businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to adopt technologies that increase productivity while simultaneously reducing GHG emissions.
Under the international climate regime, Australia’s priorities are to closely work with countries in the Indo-Pacific region on risk planning and adaptation resilience building. Australia is the leading donor to the Pacific and promotes private sector climate finance in the Indo-Pacific region. In the 2016-17 period, it provided AUD $274 Mio to international climate assistance and AUD $324 Mio in the 2017-18 period respectively.
Australia ratified the Kigali Amendment on October 27th 2017 and committed to reduce its use of HFCs by 85% by 2036. According to the legislation which implement the phase down, imports started reducing in 2018 to achieve the fulfil step-down path until 2036.
Discover Australia’s climate and clean air plans further below:
- 2017: The Ozone Protection and Synthetic GHG Management Legislation implements Australia’s commitment to phase-down the import, export and production of hydrofluorocarbons from 1 January 2018, in advance of the global phase-down implemented under the Montreal Protocol, as amended by the Kigali Amendment.
Transport - Heavy-duty vehicles
- 2006: Vehicle Standard Australian Design Rule 80/03–Emission Control for Heavy Vehicles makes compliance with vehicle standards compulsory.
- 2000: The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act aims to encourage additional generation of electricity from renewable sources, reduce GHG emission in the electricity sector, ensure renewable energy sources are ecologically sustainable. The act is amended in 2021.
- 2016: The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act is amended. The act mainly introduces a single national reporting framework for information related to greenhouse gas emissions, projects, energy consumption and energy production of corporations.
Oil and Gas
- 2006: The Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act provides a regulatory framework for petroleum exploration and recovery, the injection and storage of greenhouse gas substances.
- 2012: South Australia Gas Regulations outline the administration and licensing of gas entities and promotes an energy efficiency programme for gas retailers. The safety and operations provisions require best practice standards for gas fitting and minimisation of leaks and other hazards.
- 2019: Tasmania Gas Safety Regulations require operators to comply with standards issued by the Standards Association Australia and the Standards Association New Zealand. Several provisions cover the maintenance and operation of equipment to contain natural gas and limit methane emissions.