Aus and US strike climate and critical minerals compact

22nd May 2023 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

Aus and US strike climate and critical minerals compact

Photo by: Reuters

PERTH ( – Australia and the US will enhance bilateral cooperation under a Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact, establishing climate and clean energy as a central pillar of the Australia-US Alliance.

The Compact is a framework to advance ambitious climate and clean energy action this decade, including coordinating policies and investments to support the expansion and diversification of end-to-end clean energy supply chains, accelerating the development of markets for emerging technologies and critical minerals, and meeting the growing energy and adaptation needs of the Indo-Pacific to enhance the region’s role as a driver of resilient and sustainable global prosperity, the two nations said in a joint statement.

“The Compact recognises the interrelationship between critical minerals and the clean energy transformation in creating sustainable markets that will provide the inputs necessary to reduce emissions.

“While Australia and the US are urgently decarbonising our economies to reduce emissions, both countries acknowledge that communities at home and across the Indo-Pacific region are already experiencing the consequences of climate-related extreme weather events and natural disasters.  Australia and the US are unwavering in our commitments to support global climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts, and are deepening coordination to address the needs of those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including Pacific Island countries.”

Under the Compact, the two countries will accelerate the expansion and diversification of end-to-end clean energy supply chains, identifying areas where efforts can be coordinated to develop their respective clean energy industrial bases, including solar, wind, storage and hydrogen materials and technologies.

Australia and the US will also work to promote the responsible, sustainable and stable supply of critical minerals, and will share information to enable each country to coordinate the supply of critical minerals essential to the global energy transformation, identify risks and market distortions that impact on critical minerals markets and consider mitigation options, and cooperate in identifying innovative solutions, including standards and investment needed to deliver more responsible and efficient minerals mining and processing.  

Under the Compact, the two nations will also drive the development of emerging battery technologies, helping to ensure that Australia and the US can lead energy storage as well as diversify their respective energy sources, and to support the development of emerging markets for clean hydrogen and its derivatives. Both countries will coordinate approaches on hydrogen research, innovation, deployment, markets and supply chains, including through multilateral platforms in which the US and Australia play leadership roles.

To achieve the objectives set under the Compact, the Australian and the US governments will engage their respective critical minerals and clean energy industries to identify and address financial and non-financial barriers to accelerating and expanding development and deployment in the respective countries.

“This is aimed at enhancing two-way investment flows between the financial sectors of both countries. Discussions should include government financing bodies including but not limited to the US Export-Import Bank and Export Finance Australia. This work seeks to support the expansion of emerging industries, availability of critical minerals, and cost reductions of clean energy in our countries and globally,” the statement read.

Furthermore, the nations will collaborate on projects and standards for clean energy supply chains to support implementation of their domestic policy agendas, including in connection to the Inflation Reduction Act and the Powering Australia Plan, and boost the production of high-quality and sustainable clean energy products that are competitive in global markets.

Additionally, the two countries will promote robust emissions accounting methods for key sectors and products such as hydrogen, hydrogen derivatives, and green metals, including steel and aluminium, with a view to align standards subject to their respective domestic requirements.