PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Australian resources and oil and gas sectors have welcomed the recommendations made in the King Review as well as the government’s commitment to a A$2-billion Climate Solutions Fund.
The King Review, which was commissioned in October of last year to identify new opportunities to unlock low cost abatement across the economy, has made 26 recommendations across three themes, including enhancing the Emissions Reduction Fund to encourage greater participation, incentivising voluntary emissions reductions on a broader scale, and unlocking the transformative low emissions technologies that businesses need.
Other recommendations included reducing red tape for small emission reduction projects and increased industry involvement in the development of new methods to participate in emission reductions, supporting investment in projects that reduce emissions, developing co-investment programmes to accelerate technologies with high potential, and recommending that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) support the widest possible range of technologies that reduce emissions.
Energy and Emissions Minister Angus Taylor on Tuesday said that the release of the King Review was the next step in the government’s ‘technology not taxes’ approach to reducing emissions.
Taylor said that the government’s approach would incentivise voluntary emissions reductions on a broader scale, without imposing new costs on households, businesses or the economy.
The federal government will look to deploy a A$2-billion Climate Solutions Fund to support farmers, businesses and communities in adopting new technologies that reduce emissions and increase efficiency and productivity.
"The government will target dollar for dollar co-investment from the private sector and other levels of government to drive at least A$4-billion of investment that will reduce emissions across Australia.
“We have seen considerable success in the land and electricity sectors to reduce emissions; this is about supporting and capitalising on new and exciting opportunities in the agriculture, manufacturing, industrial and transport sectors to build on that success.”
Taylor said that the recommendations made within the King Review aligned with the government’s technology-based approach to reducing emissions, which will be developed further through the Technology Investment Roadmap that will soon be released for public consultation.
“Our 2030 Paris target is a floor not a ceiling. These reforms will position Australia to overachieve on our 2030 Paris target while maintaining a strong economy.”
Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable said that the King Review and the government’s response provide a clear path for reducing emissions, while also taking steps to ensure Australia’s core industries such as mining and minerals processing remain internationally competitive and enabling practical approaches to emissions reduction which recognise Australia as a large, energy-intensive country.
“Australia’s world-leading resource sector is already at the forefront of developing new low cost ways of reducing greenhouse emissions and helping Australia achieve its Paris target,” Constable said.
“The minerals industry is reducing emissions from minerals extraction and processing and investing in low emissions technology and energy efficiency initiatives while increasing the use of renewable energy in operations.
“The King Review and the government’s response provide a strong platform to fast-track the development and deployment of low cost abatement technologies including carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), greater use of electric vehicles and advances in minerals processing which could significantly lower Australia’s emissions and help meet Paris Agreement goals more quickly at lower cost.”
Constable said that the global transition to low emissions technologies – including solar, wind, batteries, gas, advanced coal with CCUS and nuclear energy – depends on the metals and raw materials provided by the minerals sector.
“A thriving minerals sector focused on effective and pragmatic climate action is essential to mobilise the solutions required to address climate change,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) said the recommendations contained in the King Review, along with the government’s response, were important steps to opening up new emissions reduction opportunities across the Australian economy.
Appea CEO Andrew McConville said the report proposed sensible opportunities to drive investment in emissions reduction in sectors that have not featured heavily in the existing Emissions Reduction Fund.
“Appea welcomes these recommendations to deliver greater abatement opportunities for the country. Importantly the report underlines the key role the oil and gas industry can play in cutting emissions.”
“For example, there are several CCUS projects, and enhanced oil/gas recovery activities projects under consideration in Australia that may provide opportunities to reduce emissions.
“The current arrangements mean that it has not been possible to consider these projects for support.
“Recognising the importance of these emission reduction activities and recommending that an Emissions Reduction Fund methodology be developed to facilitate the involvement of CCUS projects in the Emissions Reduction Fund is an important step forward.”