New Authority to support transition to net zero

Net zero graphic. | Newsreel
The new Net Zero Economy Authority will support the transition journey. | iStock

A new authority will be established to support the Australian economy’s transition to net zero.

As global efforts to reduce emissions intensify, the $180m Net Zero Economy Authority (NZEA) will be tasked with facilitating private and public investment, major project development, job creation and transition and skills and community development.

It will aim to create opportunities to broaden Australia’s industrial base and strengthen the country’s sovereign capability.

The NZEA will be an independent statutory body housed and be responsible for:

  • Facilitating public and private sector participation and investment in emissions reduction and net zero transformation projects across Australia, including working with established investment funds.
  • Supporting workers in emissions-intensive industries to access new employment, or acquire skills to improve their employment prospects, including an Energy Industry Jobs Plan to help workers in closing coal-fired power stations transition to new jobs.
  • Supporting communities – including First Nations communities – to participate in, and benefit from, the economic shift to net zero emissions.
  • Sharing information about Australia’s transformation to net zero economy, educating communities and supporting social licence for the transition.
  • Promoting coordination and consistency across government policies and programs.

In a statement, the Business Council of Australia said it had long called for an independent body to facilitate the transition and provide a co-ordinating role across the range of government departments, business investment and approvals processes, including with the states and territories.

“This co-ordination is essential to ensure investment decisions can proceed and help reach the desired emissions reductions targets, while providing economic opportunities during the transition to net zero,” the council said.

It said the NZEA would have the ability to ensure workers, industries and communities across the country are able to seize the opportunities of the transition, particularly in growth sectors like critical minerals and renewable technologies.

“It is also a positive sign that the Authority will prioritise economic rejuvenation of regional and rural communities.

“It is imperative during the transition that workers and communities are not left behind. Upskilling, investment and an education system built for the future economy will be critical to the success of Australia’s transition to net zero.”