Australia to promise $436.5 million for low emission technology

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan, November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Australia will spend A$565.8 million ($436.5 million) to co-fund research and pilot projects in green technologies, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Thursday, to illustrate Canberra’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

One of the world’s largest carbon emitters on a per capita basis, Australia is under mounting pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions as U.S. President Joe Biden holds a climate summit this week.

While Morrison has resisted global calls to commit to a target of net zero emissions by 2050, citing the risk of damage to Australia’s economy, he will on Thursday promise co-investment worth A$565.8 million with partners from Britain, Japan, Korea and Germany.

“We’ll work closely with our friends and neighbours to play our part in the global effort to cut emissions through technology while driving economic growth, creating jobs and pushing down energy costs,” Morrison will say, according to extracts of the announcement seen by Reuters.

A source familiar with the plans said the co-investment partners include governments and private companies.

Morrison will say international partners will invest between three and five times the amount Australia will spend on the research and pilot programmes.

The spending, which will be allocated from Australia’s budget to be unveiled next month, is the latest outlay to be revealed from Canberra’s A$18 billion fund established to invest in low-emission technology to meet its climate pledges.

The global Paris Accord commits Australia to cutting carbon emissions by 26%-28% below 2005 levels, by 2030. The government expects to achieve a 29% reduction through its A$18 billion expenditure on technology over this decade.

Initial details of how Australia plans to use the $18 billion came on Wednesday when Morrison said his government spend A$539.2 million to develop hydrogen and carbon capture projects.

But it remains to be seen if this will satisfy the United States.

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his diplomats would challenge countries whose inaction thwarted efforts to fight climate change. read more

($1 = 1.2963 Australian dollars)

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