The Federal Government is set to announce a $500 million environmental scheme that will allow Australia’s ‘green bank’ to invest in carbon capture-and-storage technology.
In the lead-up to what is expected to be a hotly contested election next year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will detail plans for the scheme that will be run by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as part of a $1 billion fund.
The new scheme will have $500 million pumped into it to help fund small-scale start-ups considered too risky for private finance.
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The other $500 million will be raised from the private sector.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the scheme would “address a gap in the Australian market where currently small, complex, technology-focused start-ups can be considered to be too risky to finance”.
The Government listed examples, including renewable-powered carbon capture and storage, lower-emissions steel and aluminium, as well as advancements in battery storage, soil carbon and solar panels.
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Morrison was in Melbourne on Tuesday spruiking the Government’s new support for electrical vehicles, announcing $500 million in “future fuels” funding aimed at installing infrastructure required to get 1.7 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
The PM recently returned from the COP26 summit in Glasgow, where Australia finally committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
However, the Government refused to increase its 2030 target. It has remained silent on details around the target, with Morrison only saying it will be revealed “soon”.
He added that the Government’s plan to reach net zero emissions would be focused on “technology”.
The Coalition will have to introduce new legislation into Parliament in order to set up its new environmental scheme.
But it has already attracted criticism from within its own ranks.
Queensland Nationals senator Matt Canavan labelled the plan a “billion dollars for a bunch of rent-seekers who are talking about fake jobs”.
“It seems like a big waste of money to me,” Canavan, a constant critic of green initiatives, told the Nine Network on Wednesday.
“We need to look at real jobs, not just green jobs.”