The Queensland Resources Council has said that predictions of the export coal industry’s demise under a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) are misplaced.
Responding to the release of the Federal Treasury’s economic modelling of the scheme’s impacts, Chief Executive Michael Roche endorsed the finding that the future of coal was linked closely to the commercial application of carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS).
“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.”
According to Roche, one of the key observations in the Treasury report was that Australia’s significant coal resources could play an important role in an emissions-constrained world if carbon capture and storage technology proves commercial.
“The black coal industry’s commitment to these new technologies is reflected in its $1 billion cash injection over 10 years to support the demonstration of technologies to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions created during the production of electricity,” he said.
“In Queensland alone, the voluntary industry levy is supporting world class CCS projects such as the Callide Power Station Oxy-fuel program and the ZeroGen feasibility study.”
Roche said the Treasury modelling underscored the importance of Professor Ross Garnaut’s finding that putting a ‘market price’ on carbon through the CPRS would not be sufficient to ensure the rapid take-up of CCS technology.