Today, September 19, 2023, the United States hosted the Government of Australia in New York City for a Senior Officials Dialogue to discuss efforts to put nature on our nations’ respective balance sheets. President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese recognized in their May Joint Leaders’ Statement that the United States and Australia have deepened cooperation on environmental, climate, and energy policy, and emphasized that strong partnership in natural capital accounting is critical to achieving our respective environmental and economic goals.
This Senior Officials Dialogue focused on strengthening collaboration in natural capital accounting and the development of statistics for environmental-economic decisions. This includes ongoing efforts to develop new natural capital accounts that track natural resources—including air, land, water, marine systems, and forests—and detailed how both countries could collaborate for mutual benefit. The U.S. delegation presented new major efforts building on the National Strategy to Develop Statistics for Environmental-Economic Decisions.
The U.S. delegation for this bilateral meeting was led by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Jane Lubchenco, Department of Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Jed Kolko, and Office of Management and Budget Chief Statistician of the United States Karin Orvis. The Australian delegation was led by the Head of Environment Information Australia Jane Coram, Australian Sherpa to the Prime Minister for the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy Russell Reichelt, and Minister Counsellor for the Australian Department of Treasury Ian Beckett.
The Senior Officials Dialogue convened following the 2022 Joint Statement of the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Australia on Cooperation on Natural Capital Accounting, Environmental- Economic Accounting, and Related Statistics. This meeting represented the first official engagement of this collaboration. Both countries committed to participate in a series of technical collaborative engagements, pursuant of the Joint Statement, and to reconvene in one year in Australia.