NSW, ACT and SA to be founding members of Net Zero Emissions Policy Forum at Glasgow

The New South Wales (NSW), Australian Capital Territory (ACT), South Australian (SA) Governments have reached an historic agreement to collaborate and solve the practical problems of reaching net zero emissions.

Greenfields Beach, Jervis Bay National Park

The Net Zero Emissions Policy Forum, initiated by the NSW, ACT and SA Governments, is a collaboration designed to help sub-national jurisdictions address the practical challenges of achieving net zero emissions.

NSW Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean said the forum will provide a repository of policies and resources that can help members reduce their emissions, and grow their economies without reinventing the wheel.

"Taking action on climate change is an economic and environmental imperative, and this is about ensuring states and territories are working together to address it," Mr Kean said.

"Greenhouse gas emissions do not recognise borders, and to tackle climate change we need a globally collaborative approach and that is what this forum is about."

ACT Chief Minister and ACT Minister for Climate Action, Andrew Barr said the forum will prove vital in providing sub-national Governments a shared suite of tools to address the policy challenges of achieving net zero emissions.

"Sub-national Governments have a vital role to play in getting to net zero emissions because we have some of the most important levers such as transport, buildings and energy," Mr Barr said.

"This forum will drive a more collaborative approach to developing the policies to get to net zero emissions.

"As we approach the cities and regions day at COP26 in Glasgow, we call on all our colleagues in state and regional governments to work together to take decisive and practical action on climate change."

SA Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs said to combat climate change on a global scale we need to speed up the transition to net zero and solve the technical, economic and policy problems of getting there.

"We are encouraging sub-national governments around the world to join, and help create the low carbon jobs and industries of the future while making sure we leave a better planet to our children and grandchildren," he said.

The forum is designed to provide state and regional sub-national governments around the world an exchange of proven and mature capabilities as well as solutions to address common obstacles in reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

The forum's purpose is to:

  • provide a repository of existing policies and resources that can be accessed by participants
  • facilitate collaboration between governments to design policies and to work together to solve the problems of achieving net zero emissions
  • enable problem solving to address policy challenges and speed up the transition to net zero.

The Forum is an Under2 Coalition initiative supported by the Climate Group and ClimateWorks Australia. It will be directed by a Ministerial Group which will set the priorities for research and collaboration.

NSW will chair the Ministerial Group for the first 12 months. As the Forum grows, it is expected that it will be co-chaired by a leading subnational government from overseas.