Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Australia will establish a AUD 1 billion (USD 750 million) fund to encourage investments in renewable energy. The fund, which will focus on investing in high-tech clean energy technologies over a period of 10 years, will draw on part of the borrowings meant to support the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
“What that is going to do is every year invest AUD 100 million (USD 75 million) in the smartest, most cutting-edge Australian clean-energy technologies and businesses to ensure that we … play our part in cracking the very hard problems, the challenging technical difficulties that we face in terms of reducing emissions,” Turnbull said.
Australia is one of the world’s largest carbon emitters on a per capita basis due to its reliance on coal-fired power plants.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt, speaking alongside Turnbull, said the fund will help Australia achieve its ultimate goal of reducing emissions to zero.
“This will be investing in storage, in new battery technology, in smart grids, in some of the exciting solar visions that people have hoped for and imagined for Australia but which are only now really becoming reality,” he said.
According to a survey released last August by Climate Institute, 63% of Australians wanted more action on climate change, up six percentage points from 2014.