Our Plan to Deliver Net Zero

Australia’s whole-of-economy Long-Term Emissions Reduction Plan (the Plan) sets out how Australia will achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Plan is focused on ‘the how’, on practical action to convert ambition into achievement, because a target without a plan is meaningless.

We will achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in a practical, responsible way that will take advantage of new economic opportunities while continuing to serve our traditional export markets. This Plan does not rely on taxes and it will not put industries, regions or jobs at risk. No Australian jobs will be lost as a result of the Commonwealth Government’s actions or policies under the Plan.

Our Plan is the right one for Australia. It does not impose new costs on households or businesses. At its core, it recognises that reducing the cost of low emissions technologies is key to unlocking widespread deployment, and that global technology trends will drive demand shifts at home and abroad. It will not raise the price of our energy or reduce the competitiveness of our export industries.

Our Plan will create the enabling environment for investment in Australia, which will ensure regional communities can capture the opportunities of the new energy economy and unlock new sources of growth. It will not shut down coal or gas production or require displacement of productive agricultural land. Australia will remain a trusted commodity producer and a leading energy exporter. We will continue to meet the needs of our customer countries overseas, particularly in our Indo-Pacific region.

Our Plan is the best economic choice for Australia. Our modelling shows it will increase our national income per person by almost $2,0001 in 2050 compared to a ‘no policy change’ scenario. By regularly reviewing our Plan, we will allow for future advancements in technology and avoid locking in high costs now. The Plan and its technology investments build on our long commitment to global action on climate change and working with our allies to reduce global emissions.

Our Plan recognises that acting to reduce emissions is in our national interest. If we don’t act, decisions by customer countries will impact our traditional exports, costing jobs and exports. Failing to act increases the risk Australian businesses will face a higher cost of capital. By setting out a Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Australia can build on our existing industries and supply chains and capitalise on new export opportunities, protecting regional industries and the jobs and livelihoods they support.

Australia has a track record we can be proud of. Australia has reduced emissions by 20% between 2005 and 2020, with our emissions per capita falling by 36%.2 However, our economy (real GDP, chain volume measures) has grown by 45% over the same period, with GDP per capita increasing by 14%.3 Our latest projections show that under a Technology Investment Roadmap-aligned scenario, Australia will reduce emissions by up to 35% by 2030. Our Plan builds upon this record of success.

Our Plan is based on five key principles, with an enabling role for government. These principles are:

1. Technology not taxes – no new costs for households or businesses,

2. Expand choices, not mandates – we will work to expand consumer choice, both domestically and with our trading partners,

3. Drive down the cost of a range of new energy technologies – bringing a portfolio of technologies to parity is the objective of Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap,

4. Keep energy prices down with affordable and reliable power – our Plan will consolidate our advantage in affordable and reliable energy, protecting the competitiveness of our industries and the jobs they support, and

5. Be accountable for progress – transparency is essential to converting ambition into achievement. Australia will continue to set ambitious yet achievable whole of-economy goals, then beat them, consistent with our approach to our Kyotoera and Paris Agreement targets.

The Government’s technology based approach provides Australia with a pathway to net zero by 2050 that protects and strengthens our economy. Achieving the Technology Investment Roadmap economic stretch goals, coupled with global trends like electrifying transport, will put us within range of net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting existing industries, creating new jobs and export opportunities from low emissions technologies, and ensuring the ongoing prosperity of our regions.

Modelling undertaken for our Plan confirms it is the right plan for Australia. We estimate that more than 100,000 new jobs could be created in industries including critical minerals, clean hydrogen, renewable energy, green steel and alumina, many in Australia’s regions. Australia’s export-oriented sectors are projected to grow significantly in aggregate, with the value of Australian exports more than tripling between 2020 and 2050.

You can find out more about Our Plan here.

as at 26 October 2021