The Morrison government today announced A$1.9 billion over ten years to develop clean technology in industry, agriculture and transport. In some ways it’s a step in the right direction, but a far cry from what’s needed to drive Australia’s shift to a low emissions economy.
The big change involves what the money is for. The new funding will enable the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support technologies such as green steel production, industrial processes to reduce energy consumption and somewhat controversially, carbon-capture and storage and soil-carbon sequestration.
This is a big move away from ARENA’s current investment priorities. Importantly it means ARENA will continue to operate, as it is running out of money now.
However technology development alone is not enough to cut Australia’s emissions deeply and quickly – which is what’s needed to address the climate threat. Other policies and more money will be needed.