Harnessing new technology to grow jobs and the economy and lower emissions

Investment in low emissions technologies that strengthen our economy and support jobs and businesses are a priority of the Morrison Government on the road to recovery from COVID-19, and to help Australia reduce global emissions.

Today, the Government has released the Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper, that will bring a strategic and system-wide view to future investments in low emissions technologies.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government sees enormous potential in technologies like hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, soil carbon sequestration, biofuels, resources and energy exports to reduce emissions while strengthening our economy.

“The Government is committed to reducing emissions without imposing new costs on households, while at the same time growing businesses and the economy,” Minister Taylor said.

“At its core, this is about technology not taxes. It means reducing emissions, not reducing jobs and the economy. It is an approach based on rigour, confidence, optimism, and Australian ingenuity not ideology.

The Government has a clear focus – back new and emerging technologies that will:

  • Continue supplying the affordable and reliable energy households and industry need to support jobs and the economy;
  • Increase the productivity of export sectors like agriculture, energy, metals and minerals processing;
  • Allow Australia to capitalise on opportunities to develop new industries and jobs; and
  • Position Australia to support our trading partners’ plans to reduce emissions through the export of low emissions technologies, energy and other products.

“The Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap is about more than just reducing emissions,” Minister Taylor said.

“This is about developing technologies that will support jobs growth. This is about ensuring that mums and dads and small businesses are paying a fair cost for energy and not imposing taxes on them. This is about backing new industries that will help our regional communities and local economies to prosper. This is about putting Australia at the forefront of research and development, and maintaining our strong track record of reducing global emissions.”

The alternative is to sign up to long term targets without a clear plan. This approach will penalise energy-intensive industries and reduce economic activity.

Other countries, particularly our largest trading partners, are reluctant to commit to policies and targets with material economic costs.

“Australia will play its role on the global stage by partnering with other nations to accelerate technologies with high abatement potential. Reducing emissions in a way that benefits the economy of these countries is the only way to broad agreement on a way forward,” Minister Taylor said.

“Real action on technology, not taxes, is the pathway to increasing global ambition.”

The Roadmap goals will be developed in consultation with industry, researchers and the financial sector, with progress reported through an annual Low Emissions Technology Statement.

The Government has appointed a Ministerial Reference Panel, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, to support the development of the first Low Emissions Technology Statement that will be published later this year.

The Roadmap will be a cornerstone of Australia’s Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy, to be released ahead of COP26.

The Government will look to support a wide range of technologies with the potential to reduce emissions across sectors. Through the Technology Investment Roadmap process, clear goals will be set for the most important and prospective of these – as we have already done with the ‘H2 under $2’ program.

The Government has already made substantial investments in clean energy technology, with more than $10 billion invested in more than 670 clean energy projects with a total project value in excess of $35 billion.

To contribute to this important national conversation or learn more about the Roadmap process, visit: https://consult.industry.gov.au/climate-change/technology-investment-roadmap/

Written submissions are open until Sunday 21 June 2020.

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