Coal Sector Reveals Flaws in Gillard’s Carbon Package

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July 14, 2011 4:33 PM EST

The relative funding allocated to carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies reflects how out of step Australia is becoming with the approach of the rest of the world to tackling climate change, the nation’s coal sector has criticised. The Government was allocating over $13.2 billion of funding to renewable technologies and less than $2 billion to CCS.

Stressing on the importance of CCS, Ralph Hillman, Executive Director the Australian Coal Association (ACA) said “The International Energy Agency has found that CCS could deliver around 20% of global abatement by 2050 – and given Australia’s reliance on fossil fuels we can expect this figure to be higher in the domestic context.

Importantly, the International Energy Agency also found that without CCS the cost of halving global emissions by 2050 would be 70% higher”
However, according to Mr Hillman, a key technology that could significantly reduce global emissions is shunned because of the Greens ideological opposition to coal mining.

“The Greens are conveniently ignoring the fact that CCS is not just a coal technology but can be applied to a range of emissions-intensive processes.”

The Treasury modelling also clearly demonstrates that it is not only the environment that will lose out with Australia’s Gross National Income up to 0.5% less if CCS is not developed, he said.

“According Treasury’s own figures, CCS applied to gas and coal-fired power will provide around 30% of our power generation by 2050 and renewables 40%, with half of this underpinned by mandatory targets. Yet CCS is receiving, we estimate, around 13% of the available funding support.
“Alarmingly these figures do not take into account the estimated $20 billion in support, through the Renewable Energy Target, that is targeted exclusively at renewables as well,” Mr Hillman added.

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