This week’s Federal Budget continues support for the government’s environmental and climate measures.

The Federal Government has unveiled financial commitments for the next several years, targeted at boosting Australia’s role on the global stage of climate advocacy, scientific research, and sustainable economic practices.

The government has earmarked $76.5 million to strengthen Australia’s engagement in international climate change dialogues and energy transitions from 2023–24 to 2029–30. 

This funding aims to support participation in platforms such as the International Energy Agency, the G20, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Additionally, this initiative will enhance trade opportunities and fortify security relationships with key global partners. 

A notable component of this funding is the bid to co-host the 31st Conference of the Parties (COP31) in partnership with Pacific nations, along with preliminary planning contingent on a successful bid. 

This measure will be funded by savings from the Strategic International Partnerships Investment Stream.

A significant portion of the budget, $290.5 million over the next five years, is dedicated to continuing and expanding the Australian Antarctic Program. 

This includes a major project to rebuild the Macquarie Island research station, enhancing year-round monitoring capabilities and scientific programs. 

Additionally, $109.6 million will support operations of the RSV Nuyina, managing short-term shipping risks and increasing operational days at sea to boost marine science and environmental activities.

The government plans to inject $8.2 million in 2024–25 into updating the Waste Exports Licencing scheme under the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020, with a new cost recovery approach starting that fiscal year. 

Another $200,000 will support the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards scheme, improving cost efficiency and environmental stewardship.

To aid consumers in the energy transition, the government has allocated $47.7 million over four years starting in 2024–25. 

This funding will facilitate the implementation of priority consumer energy resources reforms, including enhancements to the supply of renewable electricity from consumer-generated sources like rooftop solar and home batteries. 

The Australian Energy Regulator will also receive support to help households find better energy plans and improve regulatory outcomes through the Energy Made Easy website.

An allocation of $23.0 million will continue supporting the government's circular economy policies, with additional plans to develop a national framework. 

Water policy functions, including those related to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, will receive $262.2 million over five years to ensure sustainable management of water resources and support environmental outcomes.