Monday, July 14, 2008

Treasury warns against "theoretical" CCS: Government must release advice

from Greens Media

Treasury warns against "theoretical" CCS: Government must release advice

Hobart, Tuesday 15 July 2008  Australian Greens climate change
spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, today called on the Rudd
Government to release Treasury advice that reportedly warns against a $5
billion investment in geosequestration of greenhouse emissions from
coal, apparently to be announced in tomorrow's Green Paper.

A source in today's Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun (*) calls
geosequestration a "theoretical approach" and says "Not only is it very
costly, no one knows whether it is a realistic storage solution for
carbon emissions." However, the Rudd Government reportedly plans to push
ahead with this expensive and risky option against the Treasury advice.

Senator Milne said, "Is the Rudd Government really so blinded by coal
dust that it is willing to brush aside Treasury's warnings against
geosequestration, and continue to ignore the real opportunities to slash
emissions that are ready to roll out now?

"If a doctor were to tell a lung cancer patient that they should ignore
existing curative treatment, keep on smoking, and wait for a theoretical
treatment which might become available in 15 years, they would be
rightly condemned and most likely struck off.

"Why, then, is it OK for a Government, elected at least in part on a
platform of dealing responsibly with climate change, to sideline the
tremendous energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that
exist right now and throw their financial and rhetorical weight behind
an imaginary technofix?

"Martin Ferguson, who clearly sees his job as Minister for Coal and
Uranium, has made it clear that the support for geosequestration is
about protecting the future of the coal industry. This is about
legitimising ongoing coal profits at the expense of everyone and
everything else.

"If the Government plans to make this announcement in tomorrow's Green
Paper, they must first release Treasury's modelling of both options:
modelling that includes geosequestration and modelling that leaves it
out as untried in favour of the proven energy efficiency and renewable
energy options. If the Government only asked Treasury to model
geosequestration and not a multi-billion dollar injection into
efficiency and renewables, it is incumbent on Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong
to explain why.

"The Government's obsessive behaviour defies any logical explanation. It
is a sad indictment that Australia's so-called leaders cannot and will
not imagine a life that leapfrogs coal."

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