Australian Bank on Carbon Offsets to Reach Net Zero Emissions

Australia outlines that it has no plans to reach absolute zero, that is, to stop carbon dioxide production in the emission industry.

Instead, it focuses on reaching “net” zero emissions through carbon offsets, following the country’s official commitment to reach net zero by 2050 last week.

This will take place at COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Summit, in a dialogue between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other world leaders to discuss climate change concerns and subsequent improvement strategies. increase. China, the world’s largest emitter, did not exist.

Energy and Emissions Minister Angus Taylor says Australia does not seek to reach zero emissions given that many of Australia’s key industries do not currently have emission-free solutions such as agriculture. rice field.

“It’s not zero, it’s net zero,” said Angus Taylor, Minister of Energy and Emissions. Media release November 2.

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Energy Minister Angus Taylor looks forward to the opening remarks of the Leaders’ Summit on Climate hosted by US President Joe Biden on April 22, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (AAP Image / Mick Tsikas)

“In some of these sectors, there is no easy way to reduce emissions. There are technologies in the lab or on trial, but they are not yet available.”

Another emission-free industry that is still under development is steel made using hydrogen, called green steel. This is needed to transform the production process of high-emission steel, but no practical use has yet been seen.

Essential to this is Australia’s Pioneering Emission Reduction Fund (ERF). This allows Australian companies to earn and trade Australian carbon credit units.

“Through ERF, we can support technologies that reduce emissions. In sectors where technology solutions are not yet available, ERF helps generate offsets that enable companies to reach their goals,” Taylor said. ..

Carbon capture in vegetation forms an important part of Australia’s overall emission reduction efforts, and land management practices such as logging reductions account for more than 80% of the nationally declared 20% emission reduction. Contributes to.

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Forestry activities in Tasmania, Australia, June 22, 2021. (Matt Palmer / Unsplash)

Improving farmers’ ability to utilize isolated carbon in soil is also noted as one of the six key areas of Australia’s newly expanded technology investment roadmap to develop low-emission technologies. I am.

In addition, Australia announced on November 1 that forested Fiji will be the first member to participate in the recently established Indo-Pacific carbon offset scheme.

However, the promotion of carbon offsets faces criticism from some environmental groups and companies that believe that they should not generate any emissions.

Meanwhile, mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has turned his attention to defending clean energy solutions from fossil fuels through his Fortescue Future Industries organization.

Speaking under the influence of Reuters meeting On October 4, Forest labeled Net Zero as a “smoke screen” that did not solve the climate change problem.

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Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Fortescue Metals, visiting the Christmas Creek mine site in Pilbara, Western Australia, April 15, 2021. (AAP Image / Pool, Justin Benson-Cooper)

“Net Zero is a discretion to keep using fossil fuels,” he said. “You can either pretend that you can capture all the carbon dioxide we emit and bury it underground, or you can plant trees throughout Australia’s Simpson Desert. That won’t happen.”

Australia positions carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a fundamental aspect of its approach to reducing emissions. This includes plumbing emissions to large, naturally formed underground reservoirs.

“I ask you to throw away the term’net zero’and commit to’absolute zero’,” Forrest replied.

He said absolute zero requires the generation of 100% renewable energies such as wind, solar, tidal, hydro, and geothermal, and an overhaul of diesel to green hydrogen and green ammonia to the mainstay of the shipping industry. Said.

However, Forest did not outline how difficult-to-decay industries such as agriculture, steelmaking, and cement production could be transformed into zero-emission alternatives.

Daniel Kumerev