Responding to the release on Thursday of the federal Treasury’s economic modelling of the scheme’s impacts, QRC chief executive Michael Roche endorsed the finding that coal’s future was linked closely to making carbon capture and storage technologies commercial.
“It’s an important wake-up call for governments and industry that the Treasury is saying that without carbon capture and storage technologies, Australia’s coal production could fall below current levels,” Roche said.
“However, with the successful rollout of carbon capture and storage technologies in key sectors such as electricity generation, coal has a bright and growing future.”
The report pointed out “Australia’s significant coal resources could play an important role in an emissions-constrained world if carbon capture and storage technology proves commercial”
Roche said the black coal industry had already shown commitment to the cause with a $1 billion cash injection over 10 years to support demonstration of clean coal technologies.
Roche said the Treasury modelling underscored the importance of Professor Ross Garnaut’s finding that putting a “market price” on carbon through the scheme would not be sufficient to ensure the rapid take-up of carbon capture and storage technology.
Roche called for large government investment in CCS technology development to complement the rollout of the scheme.
“We will be looking to the federal government to have a major announcement about funding for all low-emissions technologies – including CCS – accompanying its finalisation of the design and timetable for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme,” Roche said.