Highlights include a Climate Change Authority survey, results of NSW's latest biodiversity credits reverse auction, a Victorian regulatory impact statement for circular economy regulations, and a new SA circular procurement knowledge hub.
Jobs include roles with the Minderoo Foundation, GPT Group, CIMIC Group, and Meat and Livestock Australia.
ESG Snapshot is a concise weekly update for C-suite executives and sustainability and climate professionals in Australia.
ESG Snapshot is produced by 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. However, they can also 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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Al Gore has released a new TED Talk titled: What the Fossil Fuel Industry Doesn't Want You To Know, in which he describes Australia as "now a pro-climate nation".
More companies and financial institutions had Science Based Targets to reduce emissions validated in 2022 than in all previous years combined, according to a new SBTi progress report.
Companies with science-based targets, or which have committed to set targets, now represent just over a third (34%) of the global economy by market capitalisation.
Oceania accounts for only 2% of companies with validated targets.
A Montana judge has ruled that the state's oil and gas policies are infringing on young people’s constitutional rights to a safe environment.
The Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has released a High-level Scoping Study Exploring the Case for a Global Nature-related Public Data Facility.
The Taskforce on Nature Markets, established by NatureMarkets, has released a new report on Making Nature Markets Work, which makes seven recommendations.
The UK government has released indicative guidance on the prices of statutory biodiversity credits under its new 'biodiversity net gain' regime for land development, which will start in November.
The Climate Change Authority is conducting a survey in the lead-up to its review of the NGER Act, canvassing views on issues including fugitive methane measurement, transparency, and confidentiality. Responses are due by 31 August.
Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has announced a review to investigate the feasibility of a carbon border tariff, along the lines of the EU CBAM, especially for steel and cement.
The review will be in the context of a broader examination of carbon leakage risks and risk management options, and will take place in conjunction with the development of sectoral decarbonisation strategies. It will be completed in the third quarter of 2024.
The Clean Energy Regulator has scheduled two audit and assurance workshops, one in Sydney on 16 November, and another in Melbourne on 14 December.
Transcript is now available from an 11 August hearing of a Senate committee inquiry into plastic pollution of oceans and waterways.
DCCEEW is seeking expressions of interest from leading scientists interested in joining the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.
ARENA will provide $20.9 million to Wollongong-based startup Hysata to demonstrate its hydrogen electrolyser technology at commercial scale.
Hysata will develop and test a 5MW unit at its manufacturing facility in Port Kembla, which will ultimately be installed next to Stanwell power station in Queensland.
Queensland government-owned Stanwell Corporation will contribute $3 million to the project.
Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has gazetted a new General Funding Strategy for ARENA.
Australia and California have signed a new climate change Memorandum of Understanding, which deals with matters including clean transport, nature-based solutions, adaptation, clean energy and clean technologies, the circular economy, and research and development.
Consultation opportunity. The federal government is seeking comments by 16 October on a proposed offshore renewable energy area in the Illawarra region, marking the fourth offshore zone to be proposed by the government. Two of the four have so far been officially declared.
The federal government has released a new feral deer action plan.
Consultation opportunity. The federal government is seeking comments by 21 September on whether to ratify a new high seas biodiversity treaty that was adopted by the United Nations on 19 June 2023.
The treaty deals with marine genetic resources, area-based management tools in the high seas, environmental impact assessments, and capacity-building.
NOPSEMA, the regulator of the offshore energy industry, is seeking nominations by 8 September to join its Community and Environment Reference Group.
Grant opportunity. Grants of between $30,000 and $500,000 are available through the latest funding round under the Our Marine Parks Grants Program. Applications close 27 September.
Consultation opportunity. The federal government has released a discussion paper on developing a national framework for recycled content traceability. Submissions are due by 31 August.
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. The federal government is seeking comments by 1 September on proposed scheduling decisions for managing three groups of PFAS chemicals that have been widely used in firefighting foams - PFOA, PFOS and PFHxS.
Consultation opportunity. The ACCC has published draft guidance on environmental and sustainability claims, with comments due by 15 September.
Consultation opportunity. Submissions are due by 29 September to a Senate Economics Standing Committee inquiry into residential electrification.
Grant opportunity. ARENA has invited expressions of interest by 1 November for grants under a $30 million funding initiative to reduce emissions in the aviation sector.
The Australian Conservation Foundation has released an assessment of climate commitments and action by Commbank, Westpac, Macquarie, NAB and ANZ, which assesses their climate targets, strategy, reporting and governance.
ACCUs last traded on the spot market at $32.00, with spot Human-Induced Regeneration ACCUs trading at $35.75, according to broker Jarden.
The state government has gazetted the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Expansion of Container Refund Scheme) Amendment Regulation, which expands its container deposit scheme to include wine and spirit bottles.
Consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking views on proposed updates of the Queensland Wind Farm Code and associated planning guidelines. Submissions close on 4 September.
Grant opportunity. Farmers and other landholders can now apply for the next round of funding under the state's Carbon Farming Advice Scheme, which provides grants of up to $10,000 to obtain carbon farming advice from approved advisors.
The state government has placed on exhibition Origin Energy's proposed Hunter Valley Hydrogen Hub, with comments due by 19 September. The hub would produce green hydrogen through the electrolysis of recycled water in a 60MW electrolyser. The hydrogen would be used by Orica at its Kooragang Island facility.
The latest reverse auction for the purchase of biodiversity credits, held in June and July, has resulted in the NSW Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund offering to buy 21,000 credits, for a total of $44.5 million. The next reverse auction will be held in October.
The EPA is conducting a mandatory survey of licensees to clarify what action they are already taking on climate change, and to help the agency determine how best to implement its climate change action plan. Survey responses are due by 1 September.
Councils will have to respond to the survey, if they have EPA-licensed facilities, and must also respond to a separate Local Government Climate Change Survey and a Disaster Adaptation Plans Survey.
The NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer has just released the findings of an independent review of the climate risk method for the NSW regional water strategies program, which it completed in 2020.
Two more solar farms, the 152MW Marulan solar farm and the 350MW Blind Creek solar farm, have received planning approval. The latest approvals mean a total of 19 solar farms have been approved since the start of 2020, with another 13 in the planning pipeline.
Grant opportunity. The EPA is inviting applications from councils for the latest round of grants to establish food and garden organic (FOGO) kerbside collections. Applications close on 10 October.
The Science, Economics and Insights Division of the Department of Planning and Environment has released its strategic plan for 2023 to 2026. It sets three priorities - supporting adaptation, driving the repair and restoration of natural capital, and providing environmental foresight.
Consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking feedback by 11 September on a proposed amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan that would allow aerial shooting of feral horses.
The state government has invited expressions of interest (closing 8 September) from landholders in the Upper Hunter interested in receiving annual payments in exchange for implementing an agreed conservation management plan.
Consultation opportunity. The state government has placed on exhibition Squadron Energy's proposed Dubbo dual fuel gas/hydrogen 64MW firming power station, with submissions due by 5 September.
Award opportunity. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2023 NSW Sustainability Awards. Entries close 8 September.
Consultation opportunity. The state government has released a draft Regulatory Impact Statement for proposed Circular Economy (Waste Reduction and Recycling) (Risk, Consequence and Contingency) Regulations. Comments close on 12 September.
The state government has gazetted changes to the Victoria Planning Provisions that make the Planning Minister the responsible authority for large-scale hydrogen gas production projects.
Three members of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Ian Potts, John Bennett and Elizabeth Bensz, will have their terms extended, serving a further seven years each, the state government has announced.
Grant opportunity. Sustainability Victoria is offering grants of up to $100,000 to businesses in Melbourne's western suburbs to help them reduce particulate pollution. Applications close on 30 August. Businesses can either apply individually or as collaborative partnerships.
Grant opportunity. Applications close on 4 September for grants under the Recycling Modernisation Fund's plastics technology stream, which is offering grants of between $1 million and $20 million.
Green Industries SA has launched an online Circular Procurement Knowledge Hub, aimed at helping procurement officers adopt circular economy principles.
The state government has declared copper to be a critical mineral, and will include it in its forthcoming Critical Minerals Strategy. It will also advocate for the inclusion of copper on the national Critical Minerals list.
The state government has urged all South Australians to participate in a Community Climate Conversations program, discussing how the state can achieve net zero by 2050. The program, which will continue to the end of November, is being run by the Conservation Council of SA and South Australians for Climate Action.
The state government has released a new Hydrogen Industry Supplier Directory, and a Statement of Capacity: Hydrogen Supply Chain Mapping for SA.
The Australian Energy Market Operator's 2023 Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report highlights the need for significant and sustained investment in generation, storage and transmission to meet reliability standards in WA's main grid, known as the SWIS.
Looking at the upcoming decade, the report forecasts an increase in electricity use and peak demand levels, and expects 1,366MW of coal-fired generation capacity will be retired within the next decade.
Considering existing and committed capacity supply, AEMO forecasts the need for additional capacity throughout the outlook period, including a shortfall of 945MW in 2025-26 and around 4,000MW by 2032-33.
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.
The EPA has published a revised Guide to Making a Public Submission, during consultations under the Environment Protection Act.