Why Did Australian Greens And Labor Reject Carbon Capture Investment?

Why Did Australian Greens And Labor Reject Carbon Capture Investment? - Carbon Herald

Political controversies in Australia are heating up – Joel Fitzgibbon – a member of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), accused his own party of “ideological craziness”. The reason for this was that Labor and the Greens won a victory in the Senate for opposing a 1.2 billion Australian dollars ($91 billion) public investment towards carbon capture and storage. 

The government proposal to let the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) was blocked by the two parties on Tuesday evening with One Nation senator Pauline Hanson abstaining from the vote. 

The reason Mrs Hanson abstained was because of her dislike of where the investment would go, i.e. natural gas companies that pay no tax but pay dividends to foreign shareholders benefiting from the changes. 

Reaction From Carbon Capture Investment Refusal

The move agitated the outspoken Mr Fitzgibbon, who said: “It is regrettable that Labor is now opposing $1.2bn of public investment in carbon-reducing innovation simply because we don’t like the entities being used to spend the additional money.”

He expressed discontent from the victory saying he didn’t want it and carbon capture and storage is necessary for the world to get global emissions down. 

He also warned that the outcome “sends the message” Labor is opposed to carbon capture. The Labor party claims it supports CCS and wants to make the point that ARENA’s funding should only be used for renewable energy.

As per Labor energy spokesman Chris Bowen, the government’s “energy chaos” continues and the Senate had overruled an “outrageous attempt” to shift ARENA’s focus from clean energy. He supports the idea that Angus Taylor is “watering-down” ARENA’s commitment to renewable energy and called it “wrong” and “probably illegal”.

The government’s intention is to reword its instrument to expand the scope of ARENA and reintroduce it before the end of the parliamentary sitting week. With this move, it hopes to persuade Mrs Hanson to drop her objections. 

Fitzgibbon is a supporter of carbon capture technologies, however, there is a push against it from the Greens party that apparently sees it as controversial for allowing fossil fuel use despite reducing carbon emissions.

The Australian Labor party policies regarding climate change are tied up with the Greens. The Morrison government policies to reduce carbon emissions also seems to include carbon capture investment for the sake of job growth and meeting the country’s decarbonization targets. 

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