The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is to commit up to $2 million to local non-profit ClimateWorks Australia to assist in the next phase of of an initiative targeting the reduction of emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, including iron and steel, aluminium, and chemical supply chains.
The Australian Industry Energy Transition Initiative (ETI) is run by ClimateWorks but also brings together major players Rio Tinto and British investment bank HSBC, as well as Clean Energy research provider BloombergNEF.
The specific focus of the Initiative is on critical sectors known as “hard-to-abate” sectors such as iron and steel; aluminium; LNG; other metals including cooper, nickel, and lithium; and chemicals such as fertilisers and explosives.
These sectors together represent more than a quarter of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and approximately $160 billion in annual exports.
With the addition of both Rio Tinto and HSBC, the Initiative now comprises 16 companies, all of which combined represent approximately 24% of the ASX100 market value, including BHP, Woodside, BlueScope Steel, BP Australia, Fortescue Metals Group, and National Australia Bank.
It also involves Climate-KIC, CSIRO and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
“ARENA is proud to be supporting this initiative which will build momentum and give industry confidence they will benefit from a low carbon Australian economy,” said CEO Darren Miller.
“It is exciting to see more industry partners signing on to the initiative so we can all collaborate, harness industry knowledge and identify pathways to net zero.”
ARENA’s $2 million injection of cash will help enable the Initiative to develop credible pathways towards decarbonisation as well as develop pilot emissions reductions projects across various supply chains.
“The Australian Industry ETI is working to set Australian industry up to take up the opportunities in a decarbonised global economy,” said Anna Skarbek, CEO of ClimateWorks.
“Getting to net-zero in the complex supply chains within these hard-to-abate sectors involves transformational solutions that are more than a single organisation can achieve alone as it requires simultaneous shifts of finance, investment and service providers.
The Initiative points to growing investment attention in green steel and green hydrogen as important catalysts for beginning to decarbonise these hard-to-abate sectors.
But it also cites the development of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies as another important tool in decarbonising these sectors.