“It is disappointing the Government intends to continue using unsuccessful technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage as a smokescreen for the expansion of high-polluting fossil fuel production in Australia,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute.
“The Minister has claimed an indicator of the success of a technology is private sector interest alongside government investment. By this definition, using Carbon Capture and Storage to generate clean coal has been extremely unsuccessful. $1.3 billion in government investment has not delivered a single commercial CCS facility for coal.
“Any technology roadmap to address climate change should be limited to zero emission technologies, such as making ‘green hydrogen’ using water and renewable energy.
“A roadmap without a destination does not make sense. Every Australian state and territory, comparable economies like the UK and Canada, and neighbours like New Zealand and Fiji, all currently have a net zero emissions by 2050.
“Technology uptake will be essential to reducing emissions and setting goals is important, but Australia won’t get there without meaningful policies. It is encouraging to see the lithium industry mentioned, as Australia is already the world’s largest lithium ore exporter. However, the Australian economy will miss most of the value unless our lithium industry moves up the value chain into refinement and battery manufacturing.
“The Howard Government used the promise of technology as the fig leaf to reject meaningful policy and reject the Kyoto Protocol, and all it did for Australia was keep emissions high and burn our international credibility. This Government risks repeating the same mistake.
“The technologies to reduce emissions in most sectors of the economy already exist and what is actually missing and needed from the federal government is a strong commitment to dramatically reduce emissions beyond 2030.”