Policies, measures and actions on climate change and
environmental protection in the context of COVID-19 recovery.
Last update2 Sept. 2020
- Emergency measures in the short term (a few months to one year) to address concerns that have directly emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and may include forced action.
- Socioeconomic measures in the medium term (one to a few years) with an environmental and climate focus to “build back better” from COVID-19, and usually involves planned, intentional action.
- Paradigm shifts and measures in the long term (more than a few years to a few decades) toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.
1.Climate mitigation measures
Technological innovation (digitalization / hydrogen/ CCUS‚ etc.)RecoveryNational Hydrogen Strategy: Development of a hydrogen certificate scheme; continuing to build international hydrogen partnerships and engagement; reviews of hydrogen use in Australian gas networks and legal frameworks; and continued support for pilots, trials and demonstrations.ContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Technological innovation (digitalization / hydrogen/ CCUS‚ etc.)RecoveryTechnology Investment: Development of Australia’s first Low Emissions Technology Statement, which will guide the Government’s technology investment portfolio to reduce emissions.ContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Transition to renewable energyRecoverySnowy 2.0: Delivering the expansion of the Snowy Hydro Scheme with Snowy 2.0, to support the transition to reliable renewable energy.Referencehttps://www.energy.gov.au/sites/default/files/snowy_2.0-making_power_more_affordable_and_reliable.pdfContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Transition to renewable energyRecoveryOffshore renewable energy: Development of a regulatory framework to enable the construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore renewable energy (including offshore wind farms) and associated infrastructure in Commonwealth waters; beyond three nautical miles from the coast out into Australia’s exclusive economic zone.ContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Technological innovation (digitalization / hydrogen/ CCUS‚ etc.)RecoveryCCS: Continued support for a number of CCS demonstration projects, including: the CarbonNet Project, Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies Otway research facility and the National Geosequestration Laboratory.ContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Sustainable transportationRecoveryVehicles: Development of a national strategy to enable choice for consumers across all types of future fuels, including for electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.Referencehttps://publications.industry.gov.au/publications/climate-change/climate-change/government/national-vehicle-strategy.htmlContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Transition to renewable energyRecoveryTransmission: Support for additional HVDC interconnection between Tasmania and Victoria, which will unlock a pipeline of investment in renewable energy and technology projects, further enabling the transition to reliable renewable energy.ContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
Transition to renewable energyRecovery
2.Climate adaptation measures
Adaptation planningRecoveryClimate Compass: a climate risk management framework designed to help Australian public servants manage the risks from the changing climate to policies, programs and asset management. It includes step by step instructions, guidance and information to develop an understanding of climate change risks. Climate Compass builds on the best climate change adaptation research and science over the past decade. Climate Compass reflects the current leading practice in guidance for climate risk management and planning for long-term, uncertain, pervasive change.Referencehttps://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/1f56cd3f-dd0f-4f4e-9f14-66ceca36125b/files/climate-compass-climate-risk-management-framework-commonwealth-agencies.pdfContactDepartment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Agr/food securityRecoveryNational Landcare Program: $1 billion National Landcare Program over six years to June 2023, contributes towards sustainable agricultural outcomes including improving soil, biodiversity and vegetation, and increasing the capacity of our farms to adapt to climate change and evolving market demands.Referencehttp://www.nrm.gov.auContactDepartment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
OthersRecoveryEmissions Reduction Fund: Through the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, emissions are being reduced and carbon sequestered from a range of measures including nature-based solutions. Under the Fund, carbon credits are issued to farmers and land holders for investing in technologies or implementing new operations that reduce or sequester carbon such as revegetation and reforestation. Projects being implemented under the Fund include sequestering carbon in agricultural soils and protecting and planting vegetation on farm land. And across northern Australia, Indigenous land owners and pastoralists earn carbon credits through projects which better manage fire in savanna landscapes. More than 44 million carbon credits have been issued to farm and land management participants under the Fund.Referencehttps://publications.industry.gov.au/publications/climate-change/climate-change/government/emissions-reduction-fund.htmlContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
OthersResponseRecoveryEnergy efficiency: The Government is continuing to deliver a range of energy efficiency policies and programs that support industry and householders to reduce energy costs and improve productivity. This includes supporting COVID-19 stimulus measures such as the HomeBuilder program which provides around $680 million in grants for homeowners and will help to support 140,000 direct jobs and another one million related jobs in the residential construction sector.
As part of the $3.5 billion Climate Solution Package:
• $21.4 million has been provided for measures in building energy efficiency which will support the HomeBuilder program by providing information and upskilling training to enable industry to support industry to deliver low and zero energy homes and commercial buildings. A series of training resources has recently been released to support the industry and capitalise on any downtime during COVID-19.
• $40 million of grants through the Energy Efficient Communities Program to assist businesses and community organisations to invest in energy efficient practices and technologies and reduce their power bills.
• $11.7 million Business Energy Advice Program which delivers trusted advice to help small businesses and their representatives get better energy deals and increase their energy efficiency.
• Funding is also supporting further work on energy rating labels on appliances and equipment allow consumers to compare the running costs of different models and the financial savings of buying a more efficient appliance.Referencehttps://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/bb29bc9f-8b96-4b10-84a0-46b7d36d5b8e/files/climate-solutions-package.pdf
https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-06/Fact_sheet_HomeBuilder_0.pdfContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
4.Other environmental measures
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureRecoveryRedesignEnvironment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Review: The Government will prioritise the development of new national environmental standards, further streamlining approval processes with State governments and national engagement on indigenous cultural heritage as part of the Australian Government’s COVID recovery plan.ContactDepartment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Measures related to ecosystem services / biodiversity / land use / agricultureResponseRecoveryInvestment in National Parks: $233 million investment into Parks Australia to deliver infrastructure upgrades across national parks and at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. New and improved infrastructure means more tourism, more jobs and better outcomes for Australians living in regional and remote areas to respond to the economic challenges of COVIDReferencehttps://parksaustralia.gov.au/news/record-investment-in-parks-australia/
New and improved infrastructure means more tourism, more jobs and better outcomes for Australians living in regional and remote areas, which is vital as we move through the economic challenges of COVIDContactDepartment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionResponseRelief for oil recovery sector: This initiative provides $7.8 million to temporarily increase the benefit paid to oil recyclers under the Product Stewardship Oil Scheme. This will support an industry severely affected by COVID-19, and support the continued collection and re-refining of waste oil.Referencehttps://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/more-funding-support-australias-oil-recycling-industryContactDepartment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Waste management and Circular economy / sustainable production and consumptionRedesignRecycling Modernisation Fund: $190 million to a new Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) to support innovative investment in new infrastructure to sort, process and remanufacture materials such as mixed plastic, paper, tyres and glass, with Commonwealth funding contingent on co-funding from industry, states and territories.Referencehttps://minister.awe.gov.au/ley/media-releases/1-billion-waste-and-recycling-plan-transform-waste-industryContactDepartment of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
OthersRecoveryPacific engagement: Collaborative outreach and engagement with Pacific Island countries to communicate the key findings of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report applicable to the region and highlight opportunities for action. The activity will be implemented in consultation with regional stakeholders, and delivered in partnership with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, and the Australian National University.ContactDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
COVID19 recovery and climate change mitigationResponseRecoveryInternational Solar Alliance: DFAT is supporting the International Solar Alliance to expand its ISA Cares program into its Pacific member states. This program seeks to enhance healthcare centres' electricity access and the reliability of the supply by deploying solar energy solutions.ContactDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
COVID19 recovery and climate change mitigationRecoveryGlobal Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases: The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) will Chair the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases from March 2021. DFAT is supporting ACIAR to use its term as Chair to deepen the GRA's engagement in the Indo-Pacific and enhance the region's agricultural productivity and resilience.ContactDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
COVID19 recovery and climate change adaptationResponseRecoveryClimate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific: DFAT is investing in the Climate and Oceans Support Program in the Pacific (COSPPac), which supports collection, analysis and communication of climate, oceans and sea level data, including for key economic sectors. The program is now focussing on COVID recovery by applying rainfall forecasts to support planning in agriculture, water, infrastructure, and renewable energy. Rainfall and temperature predictions help farmers plan for planting and harvesting, and prepare for disasters like droughts and tropical cyclones. Ocean predictions (tide, currents, wind and waves) support community activities (e.g. fishing, tourism and shipping - e.g. route planning to minimise delays and fuel costs).Referencehttp://cosppac.bom.gov.au/ContactDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
COVID19 recovery and climate change adaptationResponseRecoveryWomen’s Weather Watch through ActionAid in Vanuatu and FEMLINK in Fiji: DFAT is supporting Women’s Weather Watch through ActionAid in Vanuatu and FEMLINK in Fiji; a female-led early warning system for disasters and weather outlooks, which now disseminates health information to respond to COVID-19.ContactDepartment of Foreign Affairs and Trade
COVID19 recovery and climate change adaptationResponseRecoveryBlue Carbon Programs: The Australian Government is supporting countries in the Indo -Pacific to build their capacity to protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems. This includes a $6 million Pacific Blue Carbon Initiative and a $2 million Indonesia-Australia Program. Both programs will strengthen blue carbon expertise and data, support integration of blue carbon into national greenhouse gas accounting and climate policy, and encourage public and private sector investment. Both programs aim to: advance protection and restoration of coastal blue carbon ecosystems for climate action; address barriers to blue carbon management; strengthen blue carbon expertise and data, support its integration into national greenhouse gas accounting and climate policy; and encourage public and private sector investment.ContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
COVID19 recovery and climate change adaptationResponseRecoveryGlobal Forest Observations Initiative: continued support for GFOI, an international partnership that helps developing countries build robust MRV systems to calculate changes to forests and the contribution of their destruction and degradation to greenhouse gas emissions. Accurate measurements are the bedrock of effective forest policies supporting climate action.Reference https://publications.industry.gov.au/publications/climate-change/climate-change/government/international/land-emissions.htmlContactDepartment of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- The European Commission
- The Marshall Islands
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- The Philippines
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- The United Kingdom