National Hydrogen Strategy Review high on agenda for Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council

The Energy and Climate Change Ministerial Council (ECMC) met for the first time on Friday to discuss national energy, climate change and adaptation priorities.

Australia green energy

The ECMC is a forum for the Commonwealth, Australian states and territories, and New Zealand to work together on priority issues of national significance and key reforms in the energy and climate change sectors. ECMC is chaired by the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen MP.

The ECMC met in the Hunter on Friday, for the first time since their inception last year, and agreed on five strategic priorities for the coming 12 months:

  1. Transforming Australia’s energy system to align with net zero while providing more affordable, secure, and reliable energy to Australians, (including improving regulatory certainty and efficiency for, and accelerating delivery of, dispatchable renewable energy, storage and nationally significant transmission projects);
  2. Efficiently and effectively contributing to the achievement of all Australian emissions reduction targets;
  3. Investing in Australia’s adaptation and resilience to climate change;
  4. Empowering and comprehensively engaging with Australia’s regions and remote communities, including First Nations, on the pathway to decarbonization and Australia becoming a renewable energy superpower;
  5. Delivering a coordinated and strategic approach to achieving improvements in energy productivity across the economy.

From market monitoring powers and transmission access reform, through to scoping Australia’s first National Climate Risk Assessment (NCRA), the ECMC actioned several tasks, including a review of the National Hydrogen Strategy.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen said, "Australia can be a green hydrogen superpower. We can lead the world in green hydrogen production and in due course in export. But we have to have the right policies in place.

"Now, there was a National Hydrogen Strategy that was written in 2019, which, in our view, collectively, is out of date. It needs to be revised and refreshed, particularly in light of international developments, including the Inflation Reduction Act."

"So, I want to thank again my State and Territory colleagues for agreeing unanimously that we will refresh, revise and renew our national hydrogen plan."

"Australia is one of about 20 countries with a national hydrogen plan. Around 26 more have one under development. We have to make sure our plan is up to date, fit for purpose and ready to roll. We’ll continue that work over the next couple of months, but it’s important that the Ministers today endorsed that work beginning."

Download the full communique from the February 23 ECMC meeting here.

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