Clean coal technology has by passed Australia and would probably never work, Opposition emissions trading spokesperson Ian Macfarlane has said. The Federal Government is currently putting substantial funding towards promoting the commercialisation of carbon capture, which has been put forward as a key factor in cutting greenhouse gas emissions through storing waste gases below ground. However, Macfarlane is now sceptical about the viability of carbon capturing and storage technology, despite previously approving its use during his time as minister for resources during the Howard Government. “The clean coal option has passed us by. Twenty years to wait before the technology is available. Thirty years before it is commercial. We will need to move on to other options by then,” he has stated.
Both the Government and the opposition are building awareness of viable carbon reduction schemes in the lead up to Prime Minister Rudd’s emission trading scheme expected later this month.