In response to the federal government’s Technology Investment Roadmap, Australian Conservation Foundation climate change program manager Gavan McFadzean said:

“The goal of net zero emissions by 2050 is backed by every state and territory government, the federal opposition and every major industry body, including the Australian Energy Council, Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group and National Farmers Federation, yet the Morrison government refuses to set a destination for its roadmap.

“Promoting new clean technologies can cut climate pollution, but Australia’s roadmap should be guided by science-based medium and long-term emissions targets to drive investment and track performance.                

Renewable energy is left out in the cold by this roadmap. Investment in renewables fell 40% in 2019, due to the absence of national climate and energy policy.

“Australia should be aiming for a 100% renewable-powered grid. To achieve that, investment is still needed on renewable energy, transmission and storage technology.

“The roadmap’s attention to investment in jobs of the future making green steel and aluminium is welcome, but it is undermined by the government’s support for red herrings like carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen sourced from coal and gas. 

“As for nuclear, it is a dangerous distraction that has no place in Australia’s energy mix.

“We have next to nothing to show for the $1.3 billion Liberal and Labor governments have sunk into carbon capture and storage thus far. CCS still faces huge technological and geological challenges, does not cut emissions to the levels required and is so expensive it can’t compete with cheaper and more effective renewable technologies.

“Even when it comes to exciting new technologies like hydrogen to export energy, the tech roadmap refuses to rule out investing in hydrogen production from coal and gas.

“Australia should only pursue a hydrogen industry if it is 100% powered by clean, renewable energy. Hydrogen should not be used to extend fossil fuels’ expiry date.

“The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) must not be repurposed to prolong and expand the use of coal and gas.”

Background brief: You beauties! Australia’s world leading clean energy institutions

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