Australia at COP27

From 6 November to 20 November, Australian representatives including Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, attended the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The Climate Change Performance Index, released midway through the conference, shows Australia moving from 59 to 55 out of 63 nations. The CCPI also has Australia rising from 59 to 39 on policy.

In the first week, Australia announced that it is bidding to co-host COP31 in 2026 with the Pacific Island nations.

At 4:00am local time on Sunday 20 November 2022, the conference closed with an agreement to provide “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters. The details of the fund are to be discussed and agreed at COP28 in late 2023.

Parties to the agreement reaffirmed the commitment to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. However, a new report from UN Climate Change claims that the implementation of current pledges by national governments puts the world on track for a 2.5 degrees Celsius increase by the end of the century.

During and in the lead up to the conference, Australia has joined these initiatives:

  • Net Zero Government Initiative
  • Global Methane Pledge
  • Green Shipping Challenge
  • Global Mangrove Alliance
  • Global Offshore Wind Alliance

Net Zero Government Initiative

This initiative encourages governments to lead by example and achieve net-zero emissions from national government operations by 2050.

The Albanese Government will invest $7.1 million over 2 years to kick-start the APS’s transition to net zero through measures that include:

  • demanding improved energy efficiency of government property;
  • increasing renewable energy supply;
  • using government spending power to take action on climate change and support energy projects through the Buy Australian Plan; and
  • re-instating public reporting of government emissions to transparently track progress to the target.

$15.9 million has been committed over 4 years to implement a 75% low emissions vehicle target for the Commonwealth Fleet by 2025 for new passenger vehicle purchases and leases.

Other countries joining the initiative include: the United States, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Global Methane Pledge

Launched at 2021’s COP26, the Global Methane Pledge aims to cut anthropogenic methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030 from 2020 levels.

Australia signed on to the non-binding Pledge in the lead up to COP27, after the Morrison Government refused to sign last year.

Reducing methane emissions requires action in agriculture, resources and energy, and waste sectors.

The Australian Government is providing targeted funding to work with farmers to reduce methane emissions by enteric fermentation, including $8 million under the Powering Australia Plan to support the commericalisation of seaweed-based livestock feed supplements.  

Green Shipping Challenge

This is a global pledge to clean up the international shipping industry. Australia was invited to join the by United States President Joe Biden at the Major Economies Forum in June, signing on at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The Green Shipping Challenge focuses on zero-emissions fuels and renewable energy infrastructure, and encourages countries, ports and shipping companies to reduce emissions from the shipping sector.

Global Mangrove Alliance

Launched by the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) aims to increase and accelerate conservation, restoration, and plantation efforts of mangrove ecosystems to help combat climate change and support adaption.

The Alliance aims to increase the global area of mangrove habitat by 20 per cent by the year 2030.

Global Offshore Wind Alliance

The Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) aims to see 380 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind infrastructure built around the world by 2030. The Alliance will share knowledge and support countries to create the building blocks for offshore wind, including framework conditions, financial de-risking and system integration.

Further information

For more information, please contact Hawker Britton’s Managing Director Simon Banks on +61 419 648 587. Further Hawker Britton Occasional Papers are available here.

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