Flannery wrong on coal climate response

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche has expressed his ‘utter dismay’ at claims by palaeontologist Dr Tim Flannery that the Queensland coal industry is doing nothing to support the development of low-emission technologies for electricity generation.

According to Roche, the coal industry’s commitment of $600 million over 10 years to support low-emission power station technology development in Queensland was already supporting two demonstration projects with global application potential.

“So far this year in central Queensland, the coal industry has been directly involved in the go-ahead for construction of the world’s first oxy-fuel power plant with carbon capture at Callide Power Station and the unveiling of plans for the ZeroGen coal gasification project,” he said.

“With their incorporation of carbon dioxide storage technology, both projects are internationally significant and have been made possible through forward-looking investments by the coal industry, technology companies and the state and federal governments. I suggest that if Dr Flannery wants to catch up on what’s happening in the field of low-emission electricity generation technology, he learn about the research and demonstration projects that have been commissioned by the Queensland Clean Coal Council under the leadership of Premier Bligh, the same Premier who appointed him to the state’s Climate Change Council.”

Roche said that through a voluntary levy first raised in 2006, the black coal industry has committed around $1 billion over the next decade to support the demonstration of carbon capture and storage projects in Australia.

“Australia and Queensland in particular, are at the forefront of moves towards practical solutions to reconcile the needs for energy security and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”

Roche said that despite Dr Flannery’s lack of knowledge about low-emission technology development, he did agree with his broad observation that more federal funding is required over and above what was announced in the recent budget, particularly to support the start-up of a national plan for carbon dioxide storage.

Queensland Resources Council

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