Unless you downplay the threat of climate change or deny the science behind it, the fossil fuel industry 's only way of survival in a net zero emissions world is to capture and carbon storage.
This week, the Morrison government invested an additional $ 250 million in CCS and also made the technology eligible to generate carbon credits .
But to what end? According to the Minister of Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor , this will give our exports a " competitive advantage "and allow Australia " to increase production of clean LNG ".
University of Melbourne associate professor Malte Meinshausen, an expert on how the world could reach net zero, is less enthusiastic.
"To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, in particular 1.5C, we relatively need CSC. But not in combination with fossil fuels, ”he says. "Wasting taxpayer dollars supporting CCS in combination with a slowly dying fossil fuel industry is not helping anyone, certainly not the climate.
Taylor and the gas industry have both issued remarkably similar statements claiming that the international advisory bodies on energy and climate are of the utmost importance. 'agreement with them on the CCS. It's worth putting them side by side.
Taylor said :" [the International Energy Agency] and [the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change] both consider carbon capture technologies essential to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. "
The Australian Oil Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) said: "The International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change both support CCS as essential to achieving global goals by climate change. "
But the problem is if you advocate for CCS to help you use more fossil fuels - as are Taylor and the 'APPEA - then that ' s not what the IEA or the IPCC say.
Both organizations are developing emissions and energy scenarios that bring the world to net zero emissions and most - but not all - of these plans have a role for CCS.
Meinshausen says that while APPEA and Taylor are technically correct, the claims are misleading.
“We don't need fossil fuel projects with CCS, because the best CCS can do is pro low-emission fossil fuel projects,” he says. "We need to stop using fossil fuels and move to cheaper alternatives.
The report on reaching zero net emissions from here 2050 states this, saying CCS can help by "tackling emissions from existing assets" and helping the production of hydrogen to faible cost and low carbon.
What the IEA doesn't say is something like "you can use CCS as way to extract even more fossil fuels ".
When Taylor and APPEA refer to the expertise of the IEA, they do so selectively, because the IEA's net zero report is also clear on the future of producing more fossil fuels.
That is to say, there are none.
The report says: "Beyond the projects already started from As of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our path [to net zero], and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required. "
Some who count the numbers say Australian governments have now pledged around $ 4 billion to the CSC over the yearsns with very little results.
But can CCS really cut emissions and make gas clean? Let's take a look at one of the largest CO2 storage projects in the world: the troubled Gorgon carbon injection project at Barrow Island, off Western Australia.
The project separates the CO2 from the gas produced in the offshore drilling and injects it into a geological formation more than 2 km below the surface of the island. At full capacity, Chevron - the operator of the project - says it can store 4Mt of CO2 per year.
But that's only 'a tiny fraction of the CO2 that is released after all the gas is extracted, compressed and then burned.
In a submission dGovernment , Mark Ogge of the Australia Institute estimated that over a five-year period (and assuming the Gorgon gas project is producing the fuel at full capacity), around 260 Mt of CO2 will be released compared to to the 20 Mt that could be captured.
This does not decrease emissions. This increases the CO2 in the atmosphere. And Taylor and APPEA say they want to do more.
We have less than 25 days to go to the Glasgow climate conference and the Morrison government has yet to produce its long-term emissions reduction strategy and has yet to commit to a net zero target by now 2050.
Scott Morrison has been saying for months that Australia wants to get to net zero as soon as possible, and "preferably" by 2050.
In addition to all the promotion of gas, the governmentMorrison has just approved his fourth new coal project in one month. The phrase "as soon as possible " seems to apply more to approvals of new fossil fuel projects than to achieving net zero.
Earlier this week, the Ministry of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources released its data annual statistical report on the production, use and export of energy in Australia - from fossil fuels to renewables.
In its press release, Taylor chose to highlight gas consumption which he said was on the rise, "highlighting the important role that recuperation plays.gas in the pipeline Australia 's economic recovery and the supply of reliable and affordable energy that all Australians rely on ".
But the report reveals a few other notable things about how all gas was drilled in Australia is getting used to, and why consumption is on the rise.
First, 74% of all gas (when you
And the gas that is used here ?
Australia 's biggest gas user is also the LNG industry: 27% of all gas consumed in the country is used in the process of turning more gas into LNG for export. When Taylor says gas consumption is increasing, that's a big reason.
In a statistic that illustrates the scale of the current challenge to get out of fuelsfossils, the report shows that 93% of all energy used in Australia comes from fossil fuels.