Business and Industry
Businesses are taking action across a range of areas, helping Australia's transition to a lower-emissions future.
The Australian Government's programs and policies are assisting this transition.
The Paris Agreement provided a strong signal to markets and companies are increasingly accounting for the costs of climate change in their business decisions.
Companies are taking the initiative as global citizens and adopting practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For example, leading Australian companies are offsetting their emissions by purchasing Australian carbon credit units (ACCU's) from Indigenous savanna fire management projects in Northern Australia.
These projects incorporate Indigenous traditional knowledge to undertake controlled burning during early dry season to reduce late dry season emissions intensive fires. Jobs are created for Indigenous rangers to undertake these controlled burnings on country, providing economic and cultural benefits to Indigenous communities, as well as strong biodiversity benefits through beneficial natural resource management.
Ways for business and industry to participate or learn more
Businesses and industries can lower their energy use to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a range of energy efficient programs. The Energy Efficient website features energy management advice for small, medium and large Australian companies including best practice case studies. It provides advice on support programs to enable businesses to understand their energy use and implement energy-efficiency practices, systems and technologies highlighting additional States and Territory initiatives.
The Emissions Reduction Fund is a $2.55 billion program that provides incentives for a range of organisations and individuals to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce their greenhouse emissions. Projects can reduce emissions and generate Australian carbon credit units, which can be sold back to the Government. Eligible activities for business and industry include energy efficiency changes, reducing fugitive emissions from oil and gas and coal mining facilities, building upgrades, lighting upgrades, waste management and vegetation activities.
Examples of ERF projects are:
- The Goulburn Bioenergy project in NSW is delivering savings to Southern Meats by offsetting 40 per cent of grid-supplied electricity to their Goulburn abattoir
- The Fish River Fire Project in the NT reduces the risk of more dangerous bush fires later in the dry season by undertaking supervised burning early in the dry season to avoid hotter, higher emitting fires later on.
- At Moombidary Station in southern Queensland, landholders will sequester more than one million tonnes of carbon by regenerating native vegetation
The ERF's safeguard mechanism - within the ERF places limits on the emissions of Australia's largest greenhouse gas emitters. It ensures emissions reductions purchased by the Government are not offset by significant increases in emissions above business-as-usual levels elsewhere in the economy.
Emissions Reduction Fund projects
The Emissions Reduction Fund is one of the Australia Government's major policies addressing climate change with a national focus on a range of projects including agriculture, energy efficiency, and transport
The Renewable Energy Target is the Australian Government scheme designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector and encourage the additional generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources. The Government is committed to generating 33,000 gigawatt hours of the electricity supply from renewable sources by 2020 which is around 23 per cent of the total supply. Examples of projects include:
- A commercial demonstration facility for the conversion of inedible plant material into a bio-crude oil with similar characteristics to traditional fossil crude
- A community-owned solar project in Campbelltown - a win-win for the city and investors
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund is a $200 million Australian Government initiative to support emerging technologies to move from demonstration phase to commercial deployment. Projects that have received funding include:
- A $10 million loan to Landfill Gas Industries for investment in Queensland waste-to-energy operators, producing electricity from previously wasted landfill gas
- A $30 million clean energy initiative program by the City of Melbourne to help it reach its goal of zero net emissions by 2020.
It also provides support for low-emissions vehicles programs for example through favourable loan interest rates to corporate, government and not-for-profit fleet buyers when they choose eligible low-emissions passenger and light commercial vehicles.
The National Carbon Offset Standard sets requirements for becoming carbon neutral. These are based on a rigorous and transparent framework, supported by international standards and tailored to the Australian context. Meeting the requirements of the Standard is essential for certification under the Carbon Neutral Program.
The Carbon Neutral Program certifies organisations, products/services and events as carbon neutral against the National Carbon Offset Standard. There are over 40 organisations, products/services and events that are certified carbon neutral, these include large corporations, manufacturers and small-medium business. Leading organisation that have achieved carbon neutral certification are gaining benefits such as energy and cost savings, increased customer recognition, enhanced corporate social responsibility and a new competitive edge.
The Asia-Pacific Rainforest Partnership promotes action to progress activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in the Asia-Pacific region. The Partnership facilitates collaboration between governments, the private sector and civil society to support implementation of the Paris Agreement.
- Chevron's Gorgon project in Western Australia is Australia's first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project. It is expected to commence capturing CO2 from its natural gas field in the second half of 2017. Each year 3 to 4 million tonnes of CO2 will be injected into undersea storage, reducing emissions from the facility by 40 per cent
- The CO2CRC Otway Project in Victoria is a world-leading storage monitoring facility proving the feasibility of CO2 underground storage
Hydro-fluorocarbon management places controls on the manufacture, import and export of a range of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases. An international agreement Australia helped broker will see Australia and other developed countries phase HFCs to 85 per cent of current consumption levels by 2036. This will reduce emissions by 70 billion tonnes CO2-e in the period to 2050 equivalent to more than one year's total global greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment and buildings help businesses design, build and buy smarter and reduce emissions. For example, the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) program is accelerating appliance energy efficiency standards in areas such as air-conditioning, fridges and freezers, swimming pool pumps and lighting. These improvements could save consumers hundreds of dollars a year.
Taxation measures have also been designed to reduce emissions. The threshold tax on luxury cars is higher for more fuel efficient vehicles to encourage buyers to consider the environmental impact of vehicles.
The National Low Emissions Coal Initiative helps to accelerate the development and deployment of low emission technologies and CO2 transport and storage infrastructure to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal usage.
The National Energy Productivity Plan is designed to deliver a 40 per cent improvement in Australia's energy productivity by 2030 and contribute to Australia's 2030 emissions reduction target. Its package of measures brings together energy market reforms, energy efficiency measures and efforts to reduce emissions at least cost, particularly in buildings, appliances and vehicles.
It includes measures to improve energy productivity of transport, such as improving light vehicle efficiency, driving innovation in transport and infrastructure systems and improving fuel efficiency in the aviation and marine sectors. It is driving change and accelerating energy productivity improvements by supporting smarter energy choices and better energy services.
The rollout of smart meters and cost-reflective pricing, minimum standards for appliances and buildings, and improving awareness of cost-effective opportunities in business and industry. Measures in early-stage development promote voluntary action and support research, for example, helping businesses self-manage energy costs through information, capacity building and improved services, recognising and promoting business leadership, best practice and voluntary commitment programs.
The Energy market reform is a major priority of CoAG to improve market efficiency and productivity gains in the electricity sector.
The National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy sets out how Australia is managing the risks of a variable and changing climate for the benefit of the community, economy and environment and what a climate-resilient future will look like. It outlines a set of principles on how we can adapt to climate change and build resilience.
The National Clean Air Agreement focuses on reducing air pollution and improving air quality through cooperation between industry and government.
Australia's emissions projections provide detailed information on Australia's emissions trends and how we are tracking against our emissions reduction targets, including sector specific analysis.
The National Greenhouse Accounts are a series of comprehensive reports and databases that estimate, and account for, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions on a national, state and territory basis.
In particular, business and industry can obtain:
- economic sector and year-specific emissions data from the Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System
- latest available official emissions data from the Quarterly Update of Australia's national greenhouse gas inventory
The Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure project provides open access to spatial data from government and research sources relevant for the development of renewable energy projects.
NGERS was introduced in 2007, providing a single national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production, energy consumption and other information specified under NGER legislation.
NGERS underpins business and industry's participation in Australian Government emission reduction programs including the Emission Reduction Fund, Safeguard Mechanism and Renewable Energy Target.
Publically available NGERS data is available on the National greenhouse and energy reporting data website.
Information on NGER reporting requirements is available on the National greenhouse and energy reporting website.