Thursday, 3 December 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government is focused on development and deployment of new technology as part of our comeback from the COVID-19 recession to reduce emissions here and around the world?
I thank the member for Wentworth for his question. As a former diplomat, he knows the crucial role that low-emissions technologies are playing and can play in bringing down emissions not just in Australia but all around the world. He knows that achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement requires a portfolio of technologies and the need to bring the cost of those technologies down into line with higher-emitting alternatives.
That's why this government has announced and is investing in the Technology Investment Roadmap, which has five priority technologies: hydrogen; carbon capture and storage; soil carbon, which we just heard about from the minister for agriculture; low-emissions steel and aluminium, which is crucial for our manufacturing sector; and stored energy. For each one of those there are clear goals, such as $3 a hectare a year in the case of soil carbon, which we just heard about; and $2 a kilogram or under $2 a kilogram for hydrogen, as we heard from the Prime Minister. Why? Because at that point those technologies come into line with their higher-emitting alternatives.
The whole focus here is on technology, not taxes, because it is real actions and outcomes that matter, and Australia has been delivering the outcomes. Emissions are down 16.6 per cent since 2005. If you look at other major commodity exporting countries like Canada and New Zealand, in that time emissions have barely budged. We have so much to be proud about in this space, with crucial projects happening right across the country, like the Latrobe Valley Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project in the member of Gippsland's electorate. There's $500 million of investment, with investment coming from all over the world, focused on getting the cost of hydrogen to a point where it's at parity with or better than higher-emitting alternatives. On this side of the House, we celebrate Australian achievement. We believe in enterprise, we believe in this country and we believe in technology, not taxation.