About Australia's sustainable development and renewable energy policy
Australia's abundant endowment of natural resources has been a key driver of its economic prosperity and international competitiveness. In a country with high and rising living standards and a fragile and unique natural environment, sustainability is a key issue for both business and government.
Australia's challenge to meet existing needs without compromising the needs of future generations' has never been greater.
How is RET involved?
The Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) contributes to the development of whole-of-government advice on sustainability and water issues.
While the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has lead responsibility for environment and water policy issues, it is RET's role to ensure that the impacts of these policies on the resources, energy and tourism sectors are fully understood and that policies are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible.
RET contributes advice on a range of issues of interest to portfolio sectors including:
Renewable energy policies and measures
The department participates in the development and delivery of a range of policies and measures related to renewable energy. Through these activities, the department accords by the principles of ecologically sustainable development by:
- helping to foster the long-term sustainability of Australia's energy sector while promoting reduction of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions
- taking into account economic, environmental and social considerations when developing renewable energy measures.
The department jointly commissioned a study with the National Water Commission, Water and the Electricity Generation Industry: Implications of Use (see Related documents), which examines the potential impacts of changed water availability on the Australian electricity generation industry.
The report looks at the role of current and planned reforms in water, electricity and carbon markets in determining the most suitable and effective water management options. This report along with other Waterlines Publications is available from the National Water Commission's website.
The department is also chair of the steering committee for the Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program for the Mining Industry, a program that supports the sustainable development of the Australian minerals industry. The LPSD Steering Committee, chaired by the department identified 14 themes which address different aspects of on-site mine management. Handbooks for each of these themes, including Water and Biodiversity Management, are available on the RET website.
On international sustainability issues, the department contributes to the formulation of Australia's position for:
For more information about Australia's sustainable development and renewable energy policy go to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities website.