Highlights include an SA hydrogen and renewables bill, Queensland's plans for a new Victorian-style general environmental offence, a NSW modern slavery inquiry, and federal plans for an offshore oil and gas decommissioning roadmap.
Events include All-Energy Australia and the AFR climate summit. Jobs include blue carbon and conservation carbon roles, a sustainable packaging management position with a major retailer, and posts with CleanCo Queensland, Solar Homes Victoria, and Sustainability Victoria.
ESG Snapshot is a concise weekly update from the Business Council of Sustainable Development Australia (BCSDA), which is the local network partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
News items are listed by jurisdiction, but can be searched by relevant Sustainable Development Goal category. To do this, go to the SDG key at the end of this issue and click on the icon for the SDG that interests you.
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The Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) has launched a tender process for shipping vessels powered by zero-emissions fuels.
Buyers of shipping services involved in the ZEMBA tender include Amazon, Electrolux, IKEA, Nike, Patagonia, Philips, and Schneider Electric.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has released Roadmaps to Nature Positive for four sectors that have a high impact on nature: agri-food, forest products, built environment and energy.
The Forest Investor Club (FIC), led by the WBCSD, has released its inaugural annual report, which shows significant deployments of natural capital investments by FIC members.
Members of the FIC include Apple, Conservation International, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, The Nature Conservancy, New Forests, Pollination, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
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.
Statutory development. Parliament has passed the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Amendment (Administrative Changes) Bill, which aims to streamline the GEMS energy rating and labelling scheme.
Parliament has instructed the Climate Change Authority to provide advice on potential technology transition and emissions pathways that best support transition to net-zero by six sectors.
The Authority must provide its advice by 1 August 2024. Work is already underway in the Authority to develop advice on Australia’s 2035 emissions reduction targets, which is due by 1 October 2024.
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. It also discusses opportunities in aviation for electrification and hydrogen. Comments are due by 30 November.
DCCEEW has released an interim guideline for organisations seeking to draft new methods for creating ACCUs, which would then be submitted to the new Carbon Abatement Integrity Committee.
The Chubb review of the ACCU scheme recommended that proponents be allowed to develop and propose new methods for the creation of ACCUs.
An alliance of clean energy and environmental organisations, and the ACTU, has urged the federal government to commit to a ten-year $100 billion Australian Renewables Industry Package, partly in response to the US Inflation Reduction Act.
Businesses covered by the National Pollutant Inventory have until 30 September to report their FY23 emissions.
The federal government has cancelled about 700 million Kyoto "carryover credits", which means that it can't use abatement nominally achieved more than a decade ago to help meet its 2030 international emissions reduction pledge.
COP28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, has appointed Australia's Assistant Climate Change Minister Jenny McAllister, and Chile's Environment Minister, Maisa Rojas, to guide discussions at the COP on climate change adaptation.
Consultation opportunity. A Senate committee inquiry into the Northern Territory's Middle Arm precinct is accepting submissions until 31 October.
The federal government has appointed Peter Harris AO to undertake an independent review into the Inspector-General for Water Compliance, which is responsible for water compliance in the Murray–Darling Basin.
Consultation opportunity. A Senate committee inquiry into the government's Water Amendment (Restoring Our Rivers) Bill is accepting submissions until 29 September.
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 will from 21 September accept applications for 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 planned.
Grant opportunity. ARENA is inviting applications by 19 December under the Regional Microgrids Program, with $75 million to be allocated to First Nations communities, and $50 million to regional microgrid pilot projects.
Consultation opportunity. DFAT is seeking submissions by 30 September on the implementation of the Singapore-Australia Green Economy Agreement (GEA).
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.
Consultation opportunity. Submissions are due by 29 September to a Senate Economics Standing Committee inquiry into residential electrification.
Statutory development and consultation opportunity. The state government has released proposed reforms to the Environmental Protection Act, following an independent review of the Act. Comments are due by 10 November.
Proposed changes include making it an offence not to comply with the Act's existing general environmental duty (similar to the approach adopted in Victoria in 2021), introducing a new regime of Environmental Enforcement Orders, and introducing a new duty to restore environmental harm.
Statutory development. Parliament has passed the Water Legislation Amendment Bill, which introduces a strengthened regime for measuring the taking of non-urban water.
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.
Parliament's Modern Slavery Committee has instigated a review of the state's Modern Slavery Act.
The committee will also examine the Ethical Clothing Extended Scheme and its potential to mitigate the risks of modern slavery in the NSW clothing manufacturing industry.
The state government has gazetted updated EPA guidelines on the transport and handling of asbestos and waste tyres.
The Department of Planning and Environment has released a step-by-step guide to using the Biodiversity Values Map and Threshold tool.
The state government has ordered a halt to logging in key koala habitat areas that are expected to form part of a new Great Koala National Park on the Mid-North Coast.
Consultation opportunity. The state government has started consultations 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.
The state government has accepted an environmental referral for Neoen's proposed 600MW Navarre wind farm and battery energy storage system, which would be located about 190 kilometres north-west of Melbourne.
Applications are now open for the roles of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the board of the Mine Land Rehabilitation Authority, established to oversee rehabilitation of the Hazelwood, Loy Yang and Yallourn brown coal mines.
The state government has signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with the German city of Bremen to collaborate on green hydrogen development.
Consultation opportunity. The state government is consulting on a proposed new sustainability strategy for Tasmania, with submissions due by 6 October.
The Bill introduces a new system for conferring access and licences for projects on pastoral land and in state waters.
It also creates five licence types relating to the key stages of renewable energy projects - renewable energy feasibility licences and permits; infrastructure licences; research licences; hydrogen generation licences; and associated infrastructure licences.
Comments are due by 19 September on BP's EPA referral for a renewable diesel and avgas project at Kwinana that would use vegetable oils, animal fats and other biowaste as feedstock.
The EPA has recommended that Woodside's proposed solar farm near Karratha be approved. The solar farm would initially have a capacity of 100MW, but would be capable of expansion to 500MW.
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.
Statutory development and consultation opportunity. The Territory government is seeking comments by 18 September on a draft Mining Bill.