We manage and deliver policies and programs to help Australia respond to climate change.
Leading domestic climate change policy
We develop and administer the Australian Government’s domestic actions to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement. This includes:
- developing and coordinating domestic climate change policy
- administering climate change programs to help reduce emissions
- developing and coordinating renewable energy policy and regulation
- engaging with stakeholder groups and the community on climate priorities
- supporting business and industry to innovate and adopt smarter practices and technologies
- helping the land and agriculture sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing environment
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is responsible for delivering climate change adaptation and climate science policy and programs.
Our domestic policies ensure Australia is not only meeting its international obligations but is preparing for a lower emissions future through:
- investment and incentives for business and industry
- reporting and regulation of our biggest emitters
- supporting individuals and households
Meeting international climate change commitments
Our department works with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to negotiate Australia’s obligations under the Paris Agreement.
Read more about Australia’s international climate change commitments.
Developing long-term climate strategy
Our department is leading the development of Australia’s Long-term Emissions Reduction Strategy. Australia will take this strategy to the 26th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) climate summit in Glasgow in 2021.
Technology Investment Roadmap
Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap will be a core element of this strategy. The Roadmap will accelerate development and commercialisation of new and emerging low emissions technologies.
To deliver the Roadmap we are partnering with industry and the research community. A Technology Investment Advisory Council of industry, private investment and research leaders is advising the Australian Government on technology priorities and annual Low Emissions Technology Statements.
The First Low Emissions Technology Statement is a key milestone of the Roadmap.
The Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper opened the conversation about Australia’s future in a low emissions global economy.
National Hydrogen Strategy
The National Hydrogen Strategy outlines actions for a clean hydrogen industry that will benefit the Australian economy and help other countries transition.
Emissions abatement strategies
The Australian Government agreed or agreed-in-principle with recommendations of the King Review, which provided a robust platform to expand the way Australia lowers emissions.
Offshore renewable energy
The Australian Government is developing a regulatory framework to enable the exploration, construction, operation and decommissioning of offshore renewable energy projects, including offshore wind, in a fair and transparent way.
Investing in climate solutions
The Climate Solutions Package is an additional $3.5 billion investment to deliver on Australia’s 2030 Paris Agreement commitments, building on existing climate change mitigation policies and programs.
The package includes:
- the Climate Solutions Fund, a $2 billion investment to build on the success of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and continue investment in low cost abatement
- support for a range of new energy efficiency measures for homes, businesses and community organisations
- funding to develop a national strategy for electric vehicles that will examine public and private charging infrastructure, integration with the electricity system, industry opportunities and barriers to uptake
- further investment and support for pumped hydro projects like the Snowy 2.0 and Marinus Link
Clean Energy Regulator
The Clean Energy Regulator administers the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, the Emissions Reduction Fund, and the Renewable Energy Target scheme. Our department develops and has oversight of the legislation underpinning these schemes.
Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard
The Climate Active initiative is a partnership between the Australian Government and Australian businesses to encourage voluntary climate action. Organisations who become carbon neutral receive certification and can display the Climate Active trade mark.
Read how we administer Climate Active.
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) the Australian Government has financed thousands of clean energy projects.
The department oversaw a recent statutory review of the CEFC and found it is effectively facilitating increased flows of finance into Australia’s clean energy sector. Read the statutory review report on the CEFC website.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency
The Australian Government has financed hundreds of renewable energy projects through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Visit the ARENA website.
Regulating and reporting on emissions
Australia’s long-term strategy and domestic actions are underpinned by rigorous emissions monitoring and accountability systems.
- The Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme encourages the additional generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme is a single national framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, and energy production and consumption.
- The Safeguard Mechanism requires Australia’s largest greenhouse gas emitters to keep their net emissions below an emissions limit.
Australia has made commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and track progress towards those commitments. We report each year on Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Tracking and reporting greenhouse gas emissions
Find out how we track and report greenhouse gas emissions.
Projecting greenhouse gas emissions
Find out how we project and forecast Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Supporting climate resilience
We’re supporting efforts to build the Australian Government’s climate resilience.
Australian Government Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group
Our department is a member of the Australian Government Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group. The group comprises senior officials from 22 agencies, and considers risks and challenges arising from climate change and natural disasters.
The reference group commissioned the development of Climate Compass. Climate Compass is a framework to help Australian public servants manage risks to policies, programs and asset management from the changing climate. The framework builds on climate change adaptation research and science, and reflects the current leading practice in guidance for climate risk management and long-term planning.
About our climate change agencies
Our portfolio includes agencies and organisations with climate change functions.
- The Australian Renewable Energy Agency aims to make renewable energy solutions more affordable and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia through various programs and projects.
- The Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation uses climate simulations to project future climate.
- The Clean Energy Finance Corporation finances cleaner power solutions, including large and small-scale solar, wind and bioenergy. It also invests in more energy efficient property, vehicles, infrastructure and industry.
- The Clean Energy Regulator administers schemes to reduce carbon emissions and increase clean energy use. These include the NGER scheme, the ERF, and the Renewable Energy Target.
- The Climate Change Authority advises the Australian Government on Australia’s climate change policies and future emissions reductions targets.
Committees and panels
We’re on the following climate committees and panels:
- Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Independent Scientific Committee on Wind Turbines