Joint media release: Australia joins International Net Zero Government Initiative

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy
Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher, Minister for the Public Service

The Albanese Government is delivering on an election commitment by joining with more than 10 global partners, including the United States, to launch the world’s first Net Zero Government Initiative at COP27.

The Net Zero Government Initiative commits governments around the world to lead by example and achieve net zero emissions across their own government operations.

In making the announcement, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, and the Minister for the Public Service Katy Gallagher, said Australia’s leadership in launching the Net Zero Government Initiative sends a strong message both at home and abroad that climate action is everyone’s business and starts with government.

“We believe that the Australian Public Service can set the benchmark on emission reductions and inspire other major workplaces to follow suit,” Minister Gallagher said.

“This commitment will work to complement the ambitious work that the Albanese Government is already doing here in our own workforce to reduce the APS’s emissions and get to net zero by 2030,” said Minister Gallagher.

“Reducing public sector emissions is not only a strong signal of how serious the government is about reducing emissions more broadly in Australia, but will also over time, save taxpayers money, and of course, have a positive impact on the environment."

“Australia is one of just 3 countries to increase its national ambition to reduce emissions since the last COP in Glasgow,” said Minister Bowen.

“The Albanese Government has increased and legislated its emissions reduction targets of 43% by 2030 and net zero by 2050, and we have set an even higher bar for the Australian Public Service.

“Signing up to the Net Zero Government Initiative proves how serious Australia is about driving down emissions and reaping the economic opportunities from affordable renewable energy.”

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; an
  • re-instating public reporting of government emissions to transparently track progress to the target.

 A further $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.

Defence and security agencies are excluded from the commitment on operational grounds.

Today’s commitment to join the Net Zero Government Initiative follows the Government’s Zero-Emission Government Fleet Declaration announced at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh on 22 September 2022.