The Australia-Republic of Korea Low and Zero Emissions Technology Partnership

Media statement
01 Nov 2021
Prime Minister

Australia and the Republic of Korea enjoy a deep and historic relationship, and we mark our 60 years of diplomatic relations by celebrating the enduring friendship of our peoples and the bond between our nations. The strength of our bilateral partnership is underpinned by shared liberal democratic values, common strategic interests, strong economic ties, and extensive community links. We are committed to working together to deepen our close partnership and to support an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo‑Pacific region.

Australia and the Republic of Korea recognise that climate change is one of the defining challenges and opportunities of our time, and that all countries must play their role in the global response. We share a commitment to ambitious action to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to technology-led approaches that will ensure we reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also growing our economies and creating jobs.

We share the ambition of accelerating the development and commercialisation of low and zero emissions technologies to achieve cost parity with high emitting technologies as soon as possible. To this end, we commit to working together over the next decade and beyond to develop and support initiatives that will help drive increased adoption of low and zero emission technologies, and support our efforts to meet and beat our commitments under the Paris Agreement, including our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

We will collaborate across existing and emerging low and zero emissions technologies, including technologies for clean hydrogen and clean ammonia supply; low emissions iron ore and steel; hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles; hydrogen power generation; carbon capture, utilization and storage; energy storage; solar; and the critical minerals supply chain. In particular, we commit to make tangible progress on advancing technologies and trade systems for hydrogen supply (including clean hydrogen and clean ammonia), low emissions steel and iron ore, and carbon capture, utilization and storage as early priorities, and also strengthen our international cooperative relationship in these areas.

In support of this objective, Australia and the Republic of Korea will work together to provide funding in accordance with their respective domestic processes to support research and development, and pilot, trial, and demonstration projects in priority focus areas, with a view to supporting accelerated commercialisation of low and zero emissions technologies over the medium term. Initiatives supported under this Partnership will be industry-led and leverage additional financial contributions from the private sector, subnational governments and other sources.

Industries and research circles in both countries have already driven economic prosperity through active and voluntary cooperation on projects in industries such as energy and steel, and are now eager for new cooperation based on a positive vision for low and zero emissions technologies. This desire will be a fundamental driving force for this partnership, and underpin emissions reductions, new economic opportunities, and quality jobs in our two countries.

In preparation for the opening of this partnership, the Korean government has decided to support research on hydrogen supply chains between Korean and Australian companies this year. Australia will work closely with Korea in this effort, while also pursuing a low emissions steel and iron ore initiative that looks to reduce emissions across the supply chain.

Australia and the Republic of Korea will work to develop practical initiatives rapidly to advance this Partnership. The Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction will lead work on the Australian side. The Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy will lead work on the Korean side. We will establish a low and zero emissions technology working group under the historic Australia‑Korea Joint Committee for Energy and Mineral Resources Consultations and Cooperation (JCEM) to ensure rapid and sustainable progress, which will meet on an annual basis to advance work under this Partnership.