Australia showcased the practical actions we are taking to reach net zero emissions by 2050 at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). We also built on the work we are doing with partner countries to reduce emissions and grow our economies together.
One of Australia’s important international collaborations is our active membership of Mission Innovation (MI). This global initiative of 22 countries and the European Commission (representing the EU) is the main intergovernmental platform addressing clean energy innovation.
Through Mission Innovation, Australia is influencing global collaboration on clean energy innovation and sharing our innovations in low emissions technology. By building practical bilateral cooperation we aim to achieve performance breakthroughs and cost reductions, and provide widely affordable and reliable clean energy solutions.
Australia has two significant roles with MI. We co-lead MI’s new Clean Hydrogen Mission and Net Zero Industry Mission, an initiative announced at COP26.
As a co-lead of the Clean Hydrogen Mission, Australia is working to improve the cost-competitiveness of clean hydrogen by reducing end-to end costs down to US$2/kg by 2030. This is the tipping point at which hydrogen becomes cost competitive with other energy sources.
Clean hydrogen has the potential to decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors, such as heavy industry and transport. These are responsible for approximately 60% of global emissions.
As countries look for options to reduce their emissions, hydrogen is expected to be a good complement to electrification for decarbonisation. For Australia, removing the ‘green premium’ is critical to advancing the commercial uptake of clean hydrogen to create jobs, reduce emissions, and achieve economic growth.
Australia is working with Chile, the European Union, United Kingdom and United States on this mission. During COP26, we showcased Australia’s work to accelerate a hydrogen industry, alongside CSIRO’s analysis of international hydrogen research, design and development priorities and directions.
Australia co-leads the recently established Net Zero Industry Mission with Austria. MI members recognise that heavy industries like steel, aluminium, cement and chemicals, are responsible for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. These all require extremely high temperatures and use large amounts of energy.
Unlocking emissions reductions by bringing down costs could prevent nearly 60 Gt CO2 each year and help put industrial sectors onto a net-zero emissions pathway by 2050. The Net Zero Industry Mission is responding to this challenge.
This work is particularly important to Australia. Steel and aluminium are high-demand global commodities and thousands of people are employed in these industries in Australia, many in regional areas. Australia is acting to accelerate the technologies that will reduce emissions from these sectors across the supply chain.
We are not just co-leading these missions, we are making practical, tangible contributions to their goals.
The Australian Government’s Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Technology Investment Roadmap and its Low Emissions Technology Statements set out Australia’s approach to accelerating the development of technologies essential to achieving this goal.
The statement sets specific cost targets – or ‘stretch goals’ – for low emissions materials, including clean hydrogen, low emissions steel production and low emissions aluminium.
Industry participation, co-operative research, development and demonstration also have a strong role to play. The Heavy Industry Low Carbon transition cooperative research center (HILT CRC) is supporting Australia’s participation in achieving the outcomes of the Net Zero Industry Mission. Recently awarded $39M by the Australian Government, the HILT CRC will provide research and demonstration projects to share internationally. Projects will develop and demonstrate the technologies needed to grow Australia’s economy with improved technological capabilities and cost competitiveness for low emissions heavy industry.
Central to our investment in clean hydrogen is $464 million to support the development of up to 7 clean hydrogen industrial hubs in regional Australia, as well as design and development studies.
These hubs will:
Our goal is to drive down the cost of a portfolio of low emissions technologies. Getting them to commercial parity with existing approaches will make them more attractive to consumers at home and abroad.
Importantly, Australia recognises we cannot achieve this alone. International collaboration is essential to bolster our efforts and those of all countries. This year we announced new low emissions partnerships with Japan, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea. These all feature cooperation on hydrogen and other low emission technologies.
We are taking a very practical approach to tackling net zero emissions while strengthening our economy and creating jobs. Progressing clean hydrogen, decarbonising our steel and aluminium supply chains, and heavy industry, will help us achieve our Paris commitments and the COP26 Glasgow Breakthroughs. All of these measures support the global effort to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.
You can read insights and comment on the direction of the Clean Hydrogen Mission.
Download the discussion paper [PDF 2MB] and annexes 1 [PDF 1MB], 2 [PDF 1.5MB] and 3 [PDF 1MB] published on the Clean Hydrogen Mission on Mission Innovation’s website.
Consultation is open till 9 December 2021.
Your comments will feed into the final version of the paper and Clean Hydrogen Mission Action Plan.