Australia-China partnership moving ahead

EMERGING as a result of the Australian Government’s energy efficiency business mission to China this week are 11 new joint projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, assist adaptation to climate change, improve coal mine safety and enhance climate change expertise in both countries.

Staff Reporter

Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell, in Beijing yesterday, said the projects, valued at more than $4 million, would be worth much more to the environment.

“Four of the projects aim to reduce the methane escaping from coal mines by capturing it and turning it into electricity,” he said.

“These projects use new technology and techniques to reduce greenhouse emissions from mining operations, while also improving coal mine safety.”

The 11 projects comprise:

Assisting the promotion and implementation of Chinese renewable energy law, supported by government investment of $240,000;

The exchange and cooperation on energy efficiency standards, supported by government investment of $450,000;

A Ventilation Air Methane Catalytic Combustion Gas Turbine (VAM-CAT) – developed by the CSIRO to safely extract and capture the methane from coal mine ventilation air and use it to generate electricity – supported by government investment of $1.04 million;

A study on maximisation of coal mine methane capture, supported by government investment of $780,000;

A study on coal mine methane resources and potential project development, supported by government investment of $570,000;

Exploration of options for the generation of electricity from coal methane in China, supported by government investment of $131,500;

A study on the responses of wheat and soybean to elevated CO2 concentrations in China, supported by government investment of $420,000;

Local capacity building in China to respond to climate change, supported by government investment of $220,000;

A modelling study on energy and emission scenarios for the Asia-Pacific region, supported by government investment of $265,000;

Research on rainfall and climate change in both China and Australia, supported by government investment of $590,000; and

Whole-of-system assessment of methane emission abatement from the beef/dairy production system and simulation modelling, supported by government investment of $280,400.

Campbell said the partnership was focused on practical actions that would make a real difference.

“These projects will benefit both countries by improving our knowledge of climate change and helping us to develop and deploy new technologies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

Senator Campbell and China’s National Development and Reform Commission vice-chairman, Jiang Weixin, signed a statement of intent yesterday, which provides the framework for future cooperation.

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