Australia plans to spend $ 417 million on hydrogen and carbon capture

Canberra, Australia (AP) —The Prime Minister of Australia has added an additional A $ 359 million to a hydrogen and carbon sequestration project to hone the government’s green certification ahead of the climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden. Proposed to spend ($ 417 million).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the money spent building new hydrogen production hubs and carbon capture technology will create more than 2,500 jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.

“It is imperative that Australia be successful by investing now in technologies that will support future industries with low energy emissions that can support Australia’s employment,” Morrison said in a statement. ..

“You can’t pretend that the world hasn’t changed, and you risk leaving jobs in this country, especially in the region,” he added.

The funding will be detailed in the next year’s government economic blueprint, which will be released on May 11. Expenditure requires parliamentary approval.

Over half the money will be spent to increase the number of hydrogen production hubs in Australia from one to five. A hub is an area where hydrogen producers, users and exporters come together.

Australia is already one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas and coal, both polluting fossil fuels. The government hopes Australia will become a major global hydrogen supplier by 2030, aiming to reduce production costs to less than A $ 2 ($ 1.54) per kilogram (£ 2.2). I will.

Australia has the world’s largest carbon capture and storage facility at Chevron’s Gorgon Natural Gas Project on Barrow Island off the northwest coast. The project has stored more than 4 million metric tons (4.4 million US tons) of carbon emissions since it went live in 2019. New money will be spent to accelerate the development of new carbon capture hubs and technologies.

Australia’s oil and gas industry said investing in new hydrogen and carbon capture projects would be a huge boost to the sector.

However, an Australian Institute think tank said it disappointed the proposed funding.

“This announcement marks a significant increase in climate change measures and targets over the next decade for a large number of countries prior to the Biden Summit,” said Ritchie Melzian, director of the Institute’s Climate and Energy Program. It’s not enough to show. “

By 2030, Biden will cut US greenhouse gas emissions by at least half to host a virtual climate summit with 40 global leaders, including Morrison, according to three people who know the White House’s plans. Promise to reduce to.

The 50% target almost doubles the country’s previous promises and helps the Biden administration encourage other countries to reduce emissions as well. Earlier this week, Morrison promised to protect industry on the road to zero carbon dioxide emissions in Australia. We hope to achieve this “preferably by 2050”.

Morrison is being pressured by conservative government lawmakers not to commit to the 2050 goal.

Former Resource Minister Senator Matt Canavan likened Australia’s pursuit of a net-zero emission target to “a 10-year-old boy who thinks he’s a superman and jumps off his parents’ roof.”

“He doesn’t have the skills, and he’ll flatten on his face,” Kanaban tweeted.

Australia is on track to reach its goal of reducing emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2030, Morrison said.

Morrison is a member of the coalition government and in 2014 abolished the carbon tax imposed by the former centre-left Labor government on Australia’s worst industrial polluters. Since then, his government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Australia have been widely questioned.