Australia joins powerful global ‘Climate Club’ backed by G7 major economies

Australia will join the global ‘Climate Club’ backed by the Group of Seven major economies as part of its plan to take more ambitious action in tackling global warming as the world heads towards decarbonisation.

Speaking in Berlin, Germany yesterday (10 July 2023), Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Australia has joined the club, joining the G7 and other ‘high ambition’ countries, in a collective initiative to further international climate action.

Albanese met with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin to also advance the Australia-Germany relationship.

The PM says membership in the club will complement Australia’s climate objectives, green economy opportunities, and allows the country to bring its unique regional perspectives to global emissions reductions action.

The Climate Club was first proposed by Nobel Prize winner William Nordhaus as an avenue for countries to voluntarily set ambitious targets to curb climate change and then require their trading partners to meet those same standards.

The Australian and German leaders also held discussions on boosting trade and investment between the two regions, climate action and clean energy, and Australia’s defence and security cooperation.

Rare earths

Australia’s PM also witnessed the signing of an in-principle arrangement for the country to supply over 100 Rheinmetall Defence Australia Boxer Heavy Weapon Carriers to Germany, starting in 2025. This will be one of the biggest defence sales in Australia’s history – and is worth north of $1 billion to the Australian economy in the production and supply of these vehicles.

This deal will boost Australia’s sovereign defence industry, secure local jobs and contribute to our economic growth, with the vehicles being produced in Redbank, Queensland.

Such a deal could be a further boon for miners of critical minerals, many of which are needed in the defence sector.

Bilateral talks focused on drawing our countries closer, delivering growth, and investment opportunities from a prospective Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement.

“Australia and Germany are forging ahead and seizing the exciting opportunities of clean energy transition while delivering new jobs and export opportunities for both countries”

Clean energy cooperation is at the core of the Australia-Germany relationship. Prime Minister Albanese outlined to Chancellor Scholz Australia’s ambition to become a renewable energy superpower and the commercial opportunities to help Germany decarbonise its industry. They discussed bilateral work underway to build and strengthen supply chains in both critical minerals and clean hydrogen.

Commenting while in Germany, Albanese says: “Australia and Germany are forging ahead and seizing the exciting opportunities of clean energy transition while delivering new jobs and export opportunities for both countries.

We have also made a significant step forward on defence cooperation, which will support jobs and industry in Australia.

Albanese adds that there are enormous opportunities that Australia has, particularly on green hydrogen. He says, this has been priority of the German government under Chancellor Scholz, but it’s also been a priority of his government.

“And it’s no accident that we put in a $2 billion fund to support the hydrogen industry in Australia in our Budget in May. I have had a number of discussions with Chancellor Scholz on the phone and, of course, we met at the G7 as well and laid the groundwork for our meeting that will take place in just a couple of hours.

I see enormous opportunity for Australia to benefit from the shift to clean energy that’s occurring, including in countries like Germany. And we know that there has already been substantial discussions between the private sector in Australia with their counterparts here in Germany looking at the transition and the opportunity that it creates in green hydrogen and in other new industries.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says in statement with the Climate Club “and the socially just transition of our industries towards climate neutrality, we are making an important contribution to achieving global climate targets”.

The G7 is an intergovernmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US; additionally, the European Union (EU) is a ‘non-enumerated member’. In addition to the G7 countries that founded it, the Climate Club now has new members including Australia, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Colombia, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: iStock
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.