Carbon capture: Green groups provide cover for coal industry

\CarbonNational environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) has joined the growing chorus of outrage coming from around the country following the call for a government taskforce which would support carbon capture technology.

Media release, April 15 April 2008

Green groups provide cover for coal industry

National environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) has joined the growing chorus of outrage coming from around the country following the call for a government taskforce which would support carbon capture technology.

WWF, the Climate Institute, the Australian Coal Association and the mining union will tomorrow unveil a new partnership supporting carbon capture technology.

The four groups are expected to push for the construction of demonstration plants to begin as early as 2010, with the expectation the technology will be widely used by 2020 if proved successful.

Given the severity of the climate crisis and the need for immediate action, it is baffling that green groups would support such an agenda.

"Carbon capture and storage (CCS) won't be ready for between 10 and 20 years, if it is proven to work. Meanwhile the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that global greenhouse emissions need to peak by 2015 and observed climate impacts are happening faster than predicted. The planet simply cannot afford the time to wait for this unproven technology " said Cam Walker for FoEA.

"We need to be putting public money into energy efficiency and already existing renewable energy technology. We have the technology which would allow Australia to embark on a massive energy efficiency program to greatly reduce our emissions, while also creating tens of thousands of new jobs. We don't need public money to be poured into companies who are already making enormous profits, at the expense of the renewable sector ."

“Any call for the federal government to focus on carbon capture and storage will distract from the main game – which is energy efficiency and renewables.”

“Additionally, carbon capture and storage is potentially dangerous and shifts the responsibility for our carbon emissions and storage of these emissions onto future generations” said Mr Walker.

“Carbon capture is akin to 'low tar' cigarettes: facing enormous pressure over their unhealthy and dangerous products, the tobacco industry simply attempted to create new products that were 'healthier' in the hope this would avert ultimate losses in profits. In the same way, this call for massive investment in carbon capture can only be seen as a clever marketing strategy by a desperate industry. What makes the proposal different this time is that two environmental organisations are happy to provide cover for these self interested demands. It is hard to imagine how WWF and the Climate Institute can justify this bizarre approach given their stated aim of avoiding dangerous climate change” said Louise Morris, climate campaigner with FoE.


Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047

Louise Morris 0408 906 310

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