ESG Snapshot: Issue 14

ESG Snapshot: Issue 14

Highlights include:
From RET to REGO. The federal 'GO' certification scheme won't just be for hydrogen.
New data. The volume of government-bought ACCUs has plummeted - and it's due to one market change.
Reef credits. The Queensland government has signed two broker contracts.
TNFD. New reports are out on pilot testing in five Australian sectors.

Do you want to work as a climate or sustainability advisor, or in a nature positive role, or in climate reporting? See this issue's jobs board! Do you want briefings on climate smart engineering, or the circular economy? See this issue's event listings!

ESG Snapshot is distributed to C-suite executives and sustainability and climate professionals in companies and organisations that are members of BCSDA, which is the local network partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. For membership enquiries, contact It is available to BCSDA non-members on a six-week trial basis.

BCSDA welcomes enquiries from organisations and companies interested in distributing ESG Snapshot under their own logo to their members, clients or suppliers.

The Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures has issued its final recommendations and supporting guidance.

A new report from the International Energy Agency says Australia is home to half of the world's potential export-focused hydrogen projects in volume terms, thanks to its abundant renewable resources and  proximity to Asia.

"The phase-down of fossil fuels is inevitable, in fact it is essential, and it must go hand in hand with a rapid phase-up of zero-carbon alternatives," COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber told the UN General Assembly last week (video below).

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has launched its science-based decarbonisation framework for iron and steel companies.

A UN Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals concluded in New York last week (summary by BCSDA chief executive Andrew Petersen below).

Issue highlight. DCCEEW has released reports on pilot TNFD-aligned disclosures of nature-related impacts and dependencies in five value chains - critical minerals; gas extraction for industrial manufacturing; beef and salmon; property development and construction; and cotton.
Issue highlight and consultation opportunity. DCCEEW has released for comment a detailed design for Australia's proposed Guarantee of Origin (GO) scheme, which would certify and track the emissions from hydrogen-related projects, and which will also encompass renewable electricity. Comments on the 'REGO' renewable electricity design are due by 17 October, and on other GO aspects are due by 14 November.

Grant opportunity. The federal government is offering grants of up to $15 million for carbon capture or use projects. Expressions of interest must be lodged by 31 October.

Issue highlight. New data shows the Clean Energy Regulator paid a total of $36.48 million for 2.58 million ACCUs that were surrendered to it in FY23 under fixed delivery contracts.

This is less than a third of the $107.34 million that it spent buying 8.56 million ACCUs in FY22, with the drop attributable to a market change allowing ACCU holders to exit their delivery contracts with the Regulator, and instead sell them elsewhere.

The Climate Change Authority will host a 17 October webinar on its latest review of the ACCU scheme.

Australia has become a founding signatory to the High Seas Biodiversity Treaty, which is designed to strengthen protections for the ocean under the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Signing of the treaty is a precursor to ratification.

The federal government has cancelled more than 700 million stockpiled Kyoto Protocol-era "carryover" carbon credits, meaning they can't be used to help meet the nation's Paris Agreement emissions reduction commitment.

The Australian and US governments have signed a joint statement pledging cooperation on natural capital accounting.

The federal government is inviting applications to be part of the Lake Eyre Basin Scientific Advisory Panel and the Great Artesian Basin Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

Consultation opportunity. The federal government has released an issues paper on a roadmap for establishing an Australian offshore oil and gas decommissioning industry. Submissions are due by 20 October.

Transcript of the 11 September hearing of a Senate inquiry into the Nature Repair Market Bill is now available, featuring testimony from the National Farmers Federation, the Australian Climate and Biodiversity Foundation, and the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative.

CSIRO has released a new Natural Capital Handbook on how to report and account for natural assets

Consultation opportunity. A new federal government green paper on aviation out to 2050 floats the possibility of measures such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel targets, or a low carbon fuel standard. Comments are due by 30 November.

Consultation opportunity. Andrew Dyer, the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner, has released a discussion on paper for his review of community engagement practices for electricity infrastructure. Responses are due by 1 October.

Grant opportunity. The Powering the Regions Fund is offering grants of between $1 million and $100 million to help cement, lime, alumina and aluminium facilities decarbonise. Applications must be submitted by 2 November.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 3 October on DCCEEW's discussion paper on implementing recommendations of the Chubb review. The paper includes sections on possible changes to auction procedures and fixed contract exit arrangements. Workshops are also scheduled.

Grant opportunity. The federal government is offering grants of between $1 million and $20 million for projects that deliver solutions for hard-to-recycle plastics. Applications must be submitted by 13 November.

Issue highlight. The state government has awarded Palladium and GreenCollar contracts to be brokers of Reef credits, which are earned by reducing dissolved nitrogen or fine sediment in Reef catchment waters.

The two organisations will help establish projects to generate Reef credits, and will also work to secure potential buyers of the credits.

Palladium will work with Griffith University on projects that rehabilitate eroded gullies on grazing properties. GreenCollar will work with a range of delivery partners and landholders.

Tender opportunity. State government-owned CleanCo is inviting expressions of interest from proponents of generation and storage projects that are interested in participating in its Swanbank Clean Energy Hub. Tenders close 20 October.

The state government is providing $2 million to the Queensland Farmers Federation to continue an extension program that encourages farmers in Reef catchments to adopt more sustainable practices.

Statutory development and consultation opportunity. The state government is consulting on proposed reforms to the Environmental Protection Act, following an independent review of the Act. Comments are due by 10 November.

Grant opportunity. A total of $53.5 million is available under the latest round of funding offered through the Industry Partnership Program. The funding round aims to develop industries that will be in demand as the world decarbonises.

New South Wales

The Department of Planning and Environment has placed on exhibition a proposal by Oxley Solar Development Pty Ltd for a 215MW solar farm and a 50 MW/50 MW-hour battery,to be located near Armidale in the New England Renewable Energy Zone.

Also on exhibition are OMPS's Oven Mountain 900MW pumped hydro energy storage project, also proposed for the New England REZ, and the Silver City compressed air 200MW/1600MWh energy storage project proposed by A-CAES NSW Pty Ltd for Broken Hill.  

Consultation opportunity. The state government is consulting on a proposed critical minerals and high-tech metals strategy, with comments due by 17 November.

Consultation opportunity. Comments are due by 3 October to the EPA's biosolids regulatory review.


Consultation opportunity. The state government has released a discussion paper on the use of renewable gas by industry. Submissions are due by 6 October.

The Essential Services Commission has released the 2022 performance report for the Victorian Energy Upgrades program, showing that about 7.8 million certificates were registered in that year. There is also growing business interest in earning certificates from complex "project-based activities".

Grant opportunity. The state government is offering second-round grants under the Nature Fund, which promotes collaboration with private and philanthropic groups. A total of $3.5 million is on offer. Expressions of interest are due by 6 November.

Consultation opportunity. The state government is consulting on a proposed new sustainability strategy for Tasmania, with submissions due by 6 October.

Western Australia

Grant opportunity. The federal and state governments are offering grants totalling $30 million in the second round of the Recycling Modernisation Fund. Applications must be submitted by 13 October.

Grant opportunity. Round 2 of the Carbon for Farmers Voucher Program, which provides up to $15,000 for farmers to access professional advice on carbon farming, is open for applications until 29 September.

Grant opportunity. The WA Waste Authority is offering grants of up to $250,000 for waste and recycling infrastructure, with applications closing on 2 October.

October 5, Queensland waste and recovery forum. Hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia.
October 9 and 13, The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Industry Network is hosting events in Hobart (October 9) and Launceston (October 13).
October 9 and 10, AFR energy and climate summit. An event in Sydney, hosted by the Financial Review.
October 25, Chloe Munro scholarship event. An October 25 event in Melbourne, to announce this year's recipients of the Chloe Munro Scholarship for Transformational Leadership.
October 25 and 26, All-Energy Australia. An event in Melbourne.
October 25 and 26, Decommissioning offshore infrastructure. A conference in Perth, hosted by Informa.
October 26 and 27, Asia-Pacific hydrogen summit and exhibition. An event in Sydney, hosted by the Sustainable Energy Council and the Australian Hydrogen Council.
October 31 to November 2, The 2023 energy from waste conference. An event in Sydney, hosted by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia.
November 7 to 9, The 21st world wind energy conference. An event in Hobart, hosted by the World Wind Energy Association.
November 29 and 30, Climate smart engineering. A conference in Melbourne, hosted by Engineers Australia.
Company news and resources
BHP Mitsubishi Alliance has signed a new agreement with Queensland's CleanCo that will see about half of its forecasted electricity requirements acquired from renewable energy for five years from 2026.
Edify Energy Pty Ltd has made an EPBC referral for its proposed EGH2 hydrogen production project near Townsville.
Macquarie Asset Management and Green Wind Renewables have signed a partnership agreement to develop a portfolio of large-scale onshore wind farms totaling up to 2.4GW in Western Australia, which will connect to the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS).
Companies including Microsoft, Nextracker, and Trammell Crow Company, have joined forces to advance the purchase of near-zero emissions steel in North America, via a Sustainable Steel Buyers Platform.

The Platform members aims to make a collective request for up to 2 million tons of green steel.
Jobs Board
Climateworks is recruiting a Melbourne based energy policy manager
Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is seeking a Brisbane-based environmental specialist
The Commonwealth Bank is seeking expressions of interest for the role of manager, climate and sustainable finance reporting, based in Sydney. 
Victoria's Department of Health is hiring a manager, climate change program delivery.
Detpak has a vacancy for an Adelaide-based group sustainability manager
DT Infrastructure is seeking a Gold Coast-based sustainability advisor
Santos has a vacancy for an Adelaide-based senior climate advisor.
Westernport Water is hiring a Mornington Peninsula/Bass Coast-based climate change advisor, and East Gippsland Water is recruiting a Bairnsdale-based climate change advisor.

Australian news items in all issues of ESG Snapshot can be searched by relevant Sustainable Development Goal category. To do this, click on the '17 SDGs' link at the top of this web page, or on any of the SDG keys below.  

Click to search via SDG

SDG 10
SDG 11
SDG 12
SDG 13
SDG 14
SDG 15
SDG 16
SDG 17