The Australian Government has released the Net Zero in Government Operations Strategy (the Strategy) and Roadmap, and the first Net Zero in Government Operations Annual Progress Report. These documents outline the Government’s approach to reducing emissions from its own operations to help address climate change, and provide an overview of the emissions profile of Australian Government entities for the 2022–23 reporting period. The Strategy and Annual Progress Report represent two key steps the Government is taking to achieve net zero in government operations by 2030 and transparently report on its emissions.
What does ‘net zero’ mean?
Net zero broadly refers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a combination of energy efficiency, renewable energy and other measures, and usage of offsets. Where the Strategy focuses on implementing measures to manage and mitigate the Australian Government’s operational emissions, the Annual Progress Report tracks progress towards achieving the target of net zero emissions.
Who will be impacted?
Non-corporate Commonwealth entities will be actively implementing measures outlined in the Strategy to reduce emissions, focusing on areas such as buildings, energy, procurement, ICT, fleet and travel. Corporate Commonwealth entities and Commonwealth companies can declare they will meet the 2030 target or are encouraged to declare their own net zero targets.
Progress towards the 2030 target will be reported annually in the Net Zero in Government Operations Annual Progress Report.
Although the Net Zero in Government Operations Strategy is specifically aimed at Australian Government entities, its impact will be far reaching. This initiative is included in Australia’s Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, and it contributes to meeting Australia’s emissions reduction targets to reduce emissions to 43% below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
With the release of the Strategy and the Annual Progress Report, the Australian Government is leading by example on climate change action.
More information is available on the Climate Action in Government Operations webpage or email APSNetZero@finance.gov.au. See also the joint media release issued by the Minister for Finance, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, and Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy on 28 November 2023.