The Federal Government has joined over 100 countries at the World Climate Action Summit at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) to push renewables and energy efficiency. 

The Federal Government has said that it is supporting the UAE’s signature initiative to triple global renewable energy generation capacity and double global average annual energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

Its expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) is expected to help deliver 32GW of new renewable generation and storage, providing certainty for renewable investors and cheaper, cleaner energy for households and businesses.

Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world and has a plan to get to 82 per cent renewables by 2030 to deliver cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy. 

The Federal Government said that for emissions to go down around the world it will require a big international push. 

The Federal Government is investing in Australia’s future as a renewable energy superpower, including through its landmark $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program to support large-scale hydrogen projects in Australia.

Australia was represented at the World Climate Action Summit by Australia’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Kristin Tilley.

The Federal Government also released the Net Zero in Government Operations Strategy at COP28 on 28 November. 

This followed the government’s restoration of transparency through public emissions reporting that has seen entities report emissions in its 2022-23 annual reports. 

The strategy outlines the approach and important steps to reducing emissions from government operations and transitioning to net zero in areas like property, energy, procurement, fleet and travel.

Key actions include: 

  • Transitioning to renewable energy, facilitated through a whole of government coordinated procurement of electricity
  • Improving building energy efficiency and electrification
  • Transitioning the APS fleet to zero emission vehicles where appropriate

The Federal Minister for Finance, Katy Gallagher, said that the strategy is all about the Federal Government showing leadership in its commitment to emissions reductions and decarbonisation of Australia’s economy.

“There’s no reason why the Federal Government can’t set the benchmark for major workplaces around the nation,” Ms Gallagher said. 

“This strategy is all about the government leading by example by providing a credible path on how government will reach net zero within its operations by 2030.”

The Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said that the Federal Government is ensuring the Australian public service leads by example and secures cleaner energy for its operations.

“Reducing public sector emissions shows how serious the government is about combating the impacts of climate change, while reaping the economic opportunities from affordable renewable energy.”

Assistant Minister for Climate Change, Jenny McAllister, said that the strategy will change the way the Federal Government ran properties and conducted business. 

“The Federal Government is leading by example by making properties energy efficient, meaning they will use less energy, produce lower emissions, and be more comfortable in extreme weather,” Ms McAllister said. 

“The strategy sets ambitious minimum energy performance standards for offices, data centres and warehouses, as well as encouraging the use of more energy efficient travel and accommodation. By setting energy performance standards we can drive down energy use and emissions.”

The strategy was developed through extensive consultation across the APS, industry, and with domestic and international stakeholders and was informed by entity emissions data, as well as domestic and international best practice.

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