Australia establishes new national net zero authority

net zero

The Australian government has created a new net zero authority to ensure key stakeholders can ‘seize the opportunities’ of the country’s net-zero transformation.

The government will work to legislate the net zero authority following detailed design in consultation with stakeholders. To kick-start the authority’s responsibilities immediately, the government will recommend to the Governor-General that an Executive Agency is established from 1 July this year in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Amongst other things, the net zero authority will support workers in emissions-intensive sectors to access new employment, skills and support as the net zero transformation continues. In addition, the authority will coordinate programs and policies across government to support regions and communities to attract and take advantage of new clean energy industries and set those industries up for success.

Furthermore, it will help investors and companies to engage with net zero transformation opportunities.

According to the government, the authority will help steer the government’s agenda to support communities, workers and industries. Its mission is aligned to the Paris Agreement and is about making sure that no one is held back as the economy changes.

The new organisation will include a focus on regions and industries that have traditionally powered Australia’s economy. As traditional industries adapt and transform, it will work to ensure new industries are coming online, and workers, communities and regions are supported.

Going further, the authority will work with state and territory governments, unions, industry, first nations groups and others to help key regions, industries, employers and others are proactively manage the transformation to a clean energy economy.

It will also work collaboratively with state and territory governments, and existing regionally-focused bodies, reflecting the shared responsibility of all levels of government to support the change to a clean energy economy.

The government will recommend to the Governor-General that an interim Agency at PM&C be created from 1 July 2023 to establish the authority and begin some of its core functions.

This will include engaging with key regions, industries, investors and others to start to develop strategies for how the Australian government can best support positive transformation. The agency will also consult across government and stakeholders to refine the functions and powers of the authority before legislation is developed.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has recently launched its Finance for Net Zero (FiNZ) Action Plan to accelerate their plans toward net zero.

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