Keynote Address to the 14th Singapore International Energy Week
Minister Yong and fellow energy ministers, I am pleased to join you for another Singapore International Energy Week and I thank the Government of Singapore for the opportunity to address you today.
It’s great to see the Australia–Singapore relationship go from strength to strength.
This open exchange of ideas adds to the robustness of our relationship.
I cannot overemphasise the importance of innovation for our energy future.
It is a theme that resonates with us here in Australia, as we take a technology-led approach to reducing emissions.
Australia is committed to achieving net zero emissions and has developed a plan to achieve it.
We are also committed to working with our international partners, in our region and globally, to accelerate the solutions that will make net zero practically achievable for all.
So often in this debate the focus is too narrow – this is a global problem and we all have a role to play in addressing it.
In its latest World Energy Outlook, the International Energy Agency was emphatic that ‘the energy sector has to be at the heart of the solution to climate change.’[i]
As the world moves into a new energy era, a technology-led approach is the only way we can maintain energy security in our region and, at the same time, drive economic growth.
Australia is the world’s fourth-largest energy exporter, and we have abundant resources across traditional, transition and new energy resources.
And our customer countries in Asia rely on us to meet much of their energy needs.
Our technology, not taxes approach will allow us to reduce our emissions without damaging our reliability as an energy supplier, and the thousands of jobs that depend on those exports.
We’ve already seen renewable technologies deliver extraordinary reductions in our electricity sector.
Growth in renewable energy such as household solar and wind in Australia has been so rapid that we expect renewables to supply more than half of our electricity by 2030.
We’re determined to repeat this success using technologies that can reduce or offset emissions in sectors like agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
But the technology solutions needed to cut emissions from these sectors are either expensive to deploy or are still in the R&D stage.
They include clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, electricity storage, soil carbon and low emission materials like steel and aluminium.
These are priority technologies for the Australian Government under our Technology Investment Roadmap.
By making them cheaper and more economically productive than existing approaches, we can reduce our emissions and support some of Australia’s major trading partners to decarbonise.
Implementation of the roadmap is on track, with our government making significant investments to help meet targets to cut the cost of key technologies.
For example, our goal is to achieve production cost of under $2 per kilogram for hydrogen and under $20 per tonne of carbon for CO2 compression, hub transport and storage.
At these thresholds, these technology solutions will be economically competitive with traditional alternatives and attractive to investors.
This will be key to widespread global adoption because countries will not have to choose between growth and decarbonisation.
It will be key to the inclusive energy transition that Singapore places a particular emphasis on.[ii]
To achieve our targets, the Australian Government is investing more than $20 billion over this decade to deploy next-generation low-emissions technologies.
We expect this investment to leverage at least $80 billion of public and private investment by 2030, and create more than 160,000 jobs.
International collaboration is vital for speeding up deployment of low-emissions technologies and building strong and efficient global energy supply chains that will make net zero possible.
This year alone, Australia has committed over $565 million to back international partnerships on low emissions technologies, including $59.5 million to build a high-integrity carbon offset scheme in the region.
Australia is proud to be working in partnership with Singapore and other international partners such as Japan, Korea, Germany and the UK to deploy low-emissions technologies.
We’ve already built some of the world’s largest and most successful energy supply chains into Asia and this provides a foundation for building supply chains for low-emissions technologies.
I’m pleased Australia and Singapore are progressing implementation of our MoU signed exactly a year ago to advance cooperation on low-emissions technologies and solutions.
Last week, we saw a great sense of purpose and collegial spirit at the first annual dialogue of officials, signalling a shared commitment to deliver results under our MoU.
I’m also pleased we have committed to a $30 million partnership that will accelerate the deployment of, and create new markets for, low emissions fuels and technologies like clean hydrogen to reduce emissions in maritime and port operations.
The MoU demonstrates our shared commitment to drive practical solutions to climate change.
Building on this success, I am pleased to note that negotiations have commenced on a Singapore–Australia Green Economy Agreement.
This agreement supports the goals of the MoU and will promote trade, investment and jobs in green growth sectors for our two nations, and boost our growing bilateral energy partnership.
I look forward to continuing to work with Minister Yong and energy ministers in the region to pursue practical pathways to a net zero future that allows our region to thrive.