CSIRO announces $90m investment to accelerate Australia’s low-emissions transition

Image credit: csiro.au

CSIRO has launched a $90 million program that would help Australia’s regions accelerate their transition to a low-emissions economy. 

The national science agency’s Towards Net Zero Mission is a large-scale scientific and collaborative research initiative that convenes research, industry, government, and communities to help Australia’s hardest-to-abate sectors— such as steel and agriculture— cut their emissions in half by 2035. 

The Towards Net Zero Mission is intended to support a profitable and sustainable agriculture industry in a low-emissions world; identify what is required in order to develop new low-emissions steel and iron ore processes, and determine the requirements for developing sustainable aviation fuel to support the aviation sector. 

CSIRO Chief Executive Larry Marshall said in transitioning these industries does not necessarily mean using new technology to solve a global problem, but deliberately turning that problem into new economic growth through building national capability and innovation. 

“Our hard-to-abate industries like resources and agriculture are critical Australian advantages and are deeply embedded into the fabric of our regions – regions that our country is built on,” Marshall said.

“So, our Mission must be co-developed not just with those in the hard-to-abate industries, but also in partnership with their communities to understand the impacts and opportunities arising from new science-enabled technologies and ways of doing business.”

As part of the mission, CSIRO will collaborate with both private and government entities, such as the Climate Change Authority; Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water; the Department of Industry, Science and Resources; Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries; BHP; Boeing; Climate Leaders Coalition; Climate-Kic; ClimateWorks; Incitec Pivot; KPMG Australia; Meat & Livestock Australia; and Qantas. 

“Agriculture and its supply chains will play a critical role in Queensland’s decarbonisation. CSIRO has provided independent analysis to guide our vision and policy response for the sector, as evidenced in the draft Low Emissions Agriculture Roadmap released for public consultation in June,” said Salvo Vitelli, general manager for agriculture policy in Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. 

“The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries looks forward to continuing to work with the Towards Net Zero Mission and other key research programs to ensure the agribusiness sector capitalises on low emissions economic opportunities,” he added.