The federal government’s Green paper on Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme leaves the acceleration of investment in low emission technologies out in the cold.
According to Queensland Resources Council’s chief executive Michael Roche, this represents a huge gap in the paper.
“A key feature of the Garnaut report was the recognition that a carbon pricing scheme was not sufficient to encourage investment in these technologies,” Roche said.
“Garnaut provided a strong endorsement of a concerted research, development and commercialisation program to accelerate the introduction of low-emission energy generation technologies.
“The green paper states that as a major coal exporter, Australia has a key interest in supporting the development of CCS to enable coal to be used in a way that does not compromise the global climate change objective, however, the green paper refers only to the pre-existing Rudd government’s commitment to the $500M National Clean Coal Fund.
“That commitment represents but a fraction of the investment Garnaut thinks is needed for low emissions technologies.
“The green paper recognises the need to avoid an export of jobs and carbon emissions from Australia’s emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) industries although clearly there is much more work to do to ensure the final package of assistance to EITE industries gets the balance right.
“Based on the criteria set out on the green paper, sectors like black coal production have more work to do to provide a case for assistance.
“The green paper notably does not accept the Garnaut Review case for no compensation to coal fired generators.
“There is scant detail on the nature of the proposed Electricity Sector Adjustment Scheme but QRC welcomes the green paper’s recognition of the need to shore up the investment environment in the generation sector.
“The government’s timetable remains ambitious, especially with the Treasury modelling now not available until October.
“Nevertheless, the sooner there is policy certainty, the better it will be for investment certainty in the minerals and energy sector.” He said.
Queensland Resources Council
07 3295 9560