Can Queensland lead carbon sequestration research?

September 9, 2004

Todays announcement that CS Energy will work with University of Newcastle and Japanese research partners to advance oxy-fuel technology sounds warning bells for Friends of the Earth.

What concerns Friends of the Earth is that there is almost no public debate on geosequestration, yet both the state and federal government are paving the way for industry to invest in a technology which carries significant potential risks said Climate Justice Campaigner, Stephanie Long.

If successful, this technology extends the possibility of geosequestration, the controversial technology to capture and pump carbon underground as a climate change solution in Queensland.

This is not the kind of announcement we would have like to have heard from the new Queensland Minister for Energy in his first fortnight on the job said Ms. Long. We would have preferred to hear some strong commitment to deal with energy demand in light of the outcomes of the Somerville Report.

Environment groups across Australia have raised grave concerns with government and industries ability to ensure secure long-term underground storage of carbon, a toxic gas requiring 100,000 years of safe storage. A slow leak is possible as geological structures are not completely stable and are effected by natural phenomenon such as earthquakes. Any leakage of carbon into the atmosphere, these gases would only add to the greenhouse problem.

Australia, in particular Queensland with our increasing demand for energy, needs to commit cuts of 20% by 2020, then 60% by 2050 said Ms. Long. The only proven method for doing so through renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Environment groups have repeatedly voiced their concerns to the Ministerial Council on Minerals and Petroleum and to the Australian contingent of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum.

The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum meets 13 to 15 September in Melbourne. Julie-Anne Richards of the Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) will provide a comprehensive presentation of environmental concerns on Monday the 13 September.

For comment:

Stephanie Long
Climate Justice Campaigner
Mob: 0414 136 461