Australia to invest $417 million on new, clean energy projects

Sydney, Australia, Apr 21 (EFE).- Australia will invest around $417 million in clean hydrogen projects as well as the capture and storage of carbon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday, a day before a virtual climate summit hosted by United States President Joe Biden.

Morrison told journalists in the town of Berkeley Vale, around 100 km north of Sydney, that his country would play an enormous role in achieving the global aim of emission neutrality by 2050.

The prime minister, who has shown a slow shift in his energy policy strongly in favor of fossil fuels, said the country was headed towards a low-emission future but not at the cost of imposing taxes on major industries.

Of the total budget announced, $212.5 million is to speed up the development of four hydrogen production centers in the Australian inland, according to an official statement.

Another $203 million would help develop projects for the storage and capture of carbon in the country that houses the world’s largest such facility in its northeastern parts, where Chevron operates a natural gas project.

Morrison, who is one of the 40 leaders invited by Biden to attend the Apr. 22-23 summit, said, in a statement, that the government was seeking collaboration in low-emission technologies with countries such as Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the US.

The Morrison administration has an investment roadmap for technology that assigns $13.88 billion of public funds over the next ten years to these projects and seeks to set aside at least $53.99 billion in investments for low-energy technology by 2030.

The Australian government, one of the largest exporters of coal and gas, has claimed that it would reduce its polluting emissions by at least 26 percent by 2030.

The ruling Liberal-National coalition headed by Morrison withdrew a pioneering law that imposed a tax on large polluting companies after winning the 2013 elections.

It faces fierce pressure from its most conservative section, which backs the exploitation of fossil fuels and includes some leaders who deny the climate crisis. EFE


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