The Committee for Gippsland strongly endorses the announcement today by the Federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg that the Federal Government will legislate to lift the ban on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation investing in carbon capture and storage technology.

Committee for Gippsland CEO, Mary Aldred, welcomed the announcement saying that achieving the deep emissions cuts necessary to achieve Australia’s international climate obligations would require an energy and technology neutral approach.

“We need all options on the table and ideology has to take a back seat to technology. Taking a technology neutral approach doesn’t simply mean not picking winners. It also means not depriving Australia of taking full advantage of a range of technologies capable of making a low-emissions contribution to energy security,” said Ms Aldred.

“Barring CCS technology from being utilised by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation was grounded in ideology and achieved nothing for emissions cuts, innovation or energy security,” said Ms Aldred.

The Committee for Gippsland has advocated strongly for the lifting of the ban on funding of CCS technology from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, including writing to and meeting with the Federal Minister for Energy and the Environment Josh Frydenberg and including the priority as a key recommendation in the Committee for Gippsland’s Our Region Our Future report.

Gippsland is well placed to advance its existing work on CCS, for example with Federation University opening a CCS laboratory last year at Churchill.

“A retrofitted Latrobe Valley power station with carbon capture and storage technology could defer a closure date, save jobs and cut emissions”, Ms Aldred said.

The Latrobe Valley is a natural home for CCS projects. It has the infrastructure, skills expertise and resource to continue as a national energy hub.

“Now that the ban by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation is lifted, we have a better chance of winning the energy trifecta: lower emissions, security and affordability,” Ms Aldred said.