The UK international trade secretary has flagged further co-operation with Australian businesses as the two nations work to increase the flow of green hydrogen.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan is in Australia on a four-day visit where she’ll meet with the prime minister, cabinet ministers and businesses as the two nations work to ratify a free trade agreement.
“Green hydrogen is a really important area as part of the clean energy revolution,” the secretary told AAP.
“I’m very keen that we see some of these UK businesses who’ve developed this expertise working alongside Australian ones.”
Under the free trade agreement, the two nations have pledged to work together in developing and accelerating cost-effective low and zero emissions technologies as well as supporting clean and renewable energy sources and infrastructure.
“Part of the FTA’s remit within the environment chapter was to find the new routes to market and to help out both our countries to meet the climate change challenge and the race to zero by 2050,” Ms Trevelyan said.
Australia is due to pass the FTA legislation through parliament by the end of the year, while the international trade secretary will introduce the bill into the British parliament on Tuesday, with the hopes of it coming into force early next year.
While the UK has been somewhat sheltered from the energy security crisis impacting European nations which heavily rely on Russian gas, the spike in international prices has led Downing Street to seek to bolster renewable energy supplies.
“The price hike has affected UK citizens, businesses and consumers,” Ms Trevelyan said.
“One of the ways to become more resilient is to move to those clean, renewable energy solutions from wind to solar to the new nuclear that the UK is leading the way on.”
This move will also provide an opportunity for Australian businesses and markets to expand investment in renewables, the secretary says.
“We want to see both UK businesses who have expertise and Australian ones working together to make sure that we can see the mutual benefit of the technology that we need to be advancing,” she said.
“Australia has a big challenge in moving away from its coal-fired power stations.
“We look forward to working with them to help expand those clean and renewable energy options.”
The secretary is due to have dinner with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday and will meet businesses and ministers in Sydney to discuss clean energy innovation and increasing women’s economic participation.
Space and defence ties will also be a focus during the secretary’s visit.
(Australian Associated Press)