South Australian Government engagement in COP26

For nearly three decades the UN (United Nations) has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ to the UN Convention on Climate Change.

The United Kingdom is hosting the 26th COP this year with the summit being held in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October to 12 November.

World leaders alongside negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens are attending COP26 for 12 days of talks that will focus on four key goals:

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  3. Mobilise finance
  4. Work together to deliver

South Australia’s involvement

South Australia’s Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs is attending virtually.  South Australia's Agent General in London, Mr David Ridgway, is attending in person.

The Minister and Agent General will represent South Australia in a series of meetings and events and will showcase South Australia’s achievements in emissions reductions and tackling climate change.

South Australian news and updates from COP26


COP26 finishes up with SA bolstering its climate leadership position

The South Australian Government ended COP26 with the introduction of a new Bill to Parliament to legislate the state’s 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050 targets.

In a final media announcement, the state’s key achievements throughout COP26 are listed, including the signing the Edinburgh Declaration to support action and collaboration to recognise the value of nature and biodiversity, integrate it into policy, raise public awareness and share best practice among jurisdictions.

Japanese Government Hydrogen Announcement

The Japanese Government recently announced the selection of the Marubeni Corporation’s hydrogen production project in South Australia as a pilot project, as part of a program looking to cooperate with developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The announcement was made during a green hydrogen-focused event at COP26, with the Minister for Environment and Water providing an address to acknowledge the partnership between Japan and our state.

Transforming the Torrens

The River Torrens in the Adelaide CBD is set to be reinvigorated to create a cooler, greener and wilder attraction for locals and visitors.

The $5 million Transforming the Torrens program will be delivered over four years in partnership with the City of Adelaide Council, and will see a series of wetlands and revegetated areas established along the Torrens.

Global COP26 declaration for 100 per cent zero emission vehicles

The South Australian Government has signed the COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans as part of its $41 million Electric Vehicle (EV) Action Plan to jump start electric vehicles in South Australia.

The EV Action Plan aims to achieve 50% of new car sales as electric by 2030, and having EVs the default choice by 2035.

The EV Action Plan outlines a range of investment actions designed to accelerate transition to zero and low emissions vehicles. Initiatives include a $22.7 million subsidy and registration exemption package which will provide 7,000 motorists with an up-front subsidy of $3,000 on the purchase of a new electric vehicle, $13.4 million to secure private investment in South Australia’s statewide Electric Vehicle Charging Network and $3.6 million for Smart Charging Trials that will align charging to times of high renewable energy generation to reduce electricity costs for all South Australians. 

Net Zero Emissions Policy Forum

South Australia, NSW and the ACT governments are joining forces to form a Net Zero Emissions Policy Forum.  The Forum will share information and resources to address the practical challenges of achieving net-zero emissions, and help each other to meet their emission reduction targets.

Wild Walls and Cool Corridors to green and cool Adelaide streets

The South Australian Government has committed $5m towards greening Adelaide streets in a program designed to cool and enliven city streetscapes.

The Green Adelaide landscape management board will lead four initiatives: $2m for Greener City Streets, $1.5m for Wild Walls and Roofs grants, $1m for Cool Corridors, and $500,000 for Green Water Rebates over the next four years.

SA demonstrating leadership the circular economy

South Australia has launched a new Global Centre of Excellence in Circular Economy – Circular360 which will establish a head office in Adelaide.

Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs made the announcement of the Centre of Excellence during a virtual presentation at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).  “This centre makes South Australia the number one destination for businesses and government across the Asia-Pacific region to see the policy and practice of a circular economy in action,” Minister Speirs said.

Application submitted for Greater Adelaide to be recognised as a National Park City

Green Adelaide has submitted greater Adelaide’s application to become the next National Park City. Being named a National Park City – a title which would only be shared with London – would provide recognition of our existing green spaces and drive momentum for the creation of new parks across Adelaide.

South Australia as leaders in climate action

South Australia is demonstrating leadership across many areas:

  • South Australia’s Climate Action Plan provides a comprehensive set of actions and includes our emission reduction commitments
  • More than 60% of our power supply comes from renewable energy
  • South Australia was the first state in Australia to ban single-use plastics

See the Premier discuss South Australia’s achievements in this new video that was broadcast at COP here

More South Australian recent news stories and achievements in climate action include:

South Australia’s clean energy transformation and achievements are showcased in the following videos:

COP26 Events

The States Respond: Net Zero and COP26

On 12 November 2021, the Committee for Economic Development Australia (CEDA) hosted a discussion with all six state ministers responsible for climate change strategies at a state level to share their thinking on the role of their government to address climate change. The Minister for Environment and Water joined other state leaders to share ambitions, achievements and lessons learned. 

Japanese Government Event

The Japanese Government held an event focused on building global supply chain of green hydrogen to support the energy transition towards a decarbonised society.

The event involved participants sharing experiences and case studies on hydrogen projects, with an aim to contribute to the efforts towards building global supply chains of green hydrogen.

South Australia's Clean Energy Transition

On Monday 8 November 2021, the Agent General for South Australia presented to an in-person and virtual audience at COP26 on South Australia’s clean energy transition. The event was held at the Australian Government’s pavilion in the blue zone, and covered our achievements and the lessons learnt on the way. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with Nick Smith, Executive Director, Growth and Low Carbon Division, South Australian Department for Energy and Mining. Watch the recording of the event here.

Regions4 Special High Level Event

On Monday 8 November, the Minister for Environment and Water participated in an event focused on the leading role of regions in raising ambitions for adaptation and resilience. Regions4 is a forum where regional governments collaborate, exchange knowledge and share best practice on adaptation and resilience to climate change.

The Minister provided a short pre-recorded video on South Australia’s achievements in building resilience and helping our communities to adapt. Watch it here: COP26 Regions4 Event address - South Australia's action to build resilience and adapt - YouTube

Building Global & Local Partnerships to Reach Net-Zero

The Minister participated in this panel event to discuss how partnerships between state governments, regional authorities, organisations and communities can help us reach our net zero targets in a way that works for both people and planet. 

UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub Pavilion @COP26 - YouTube

The UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub aims to promote transformative innovations for a low-emission and climate-resilient future. An 11-day event to launch the Global Innovation Hub is currently in progress at COP26, to promote integrated innovations and facilitate the development and deployment of solutions.

See the Hon. David Speirs, Minister for Environment and Water  present South Australia’s achievements at 1:13 within this video.

COP26: Key Issues and Perspectives

A pre-COP webinar hosted by the Carbon Market institute which included discussion on South Australia’s efforts to tackle climate change and how the state government will attract investment and realise opportunities.

More news and updates will follow from COP26 in the coming days.