Australia to spend $420mln on hydrogen, carbon capture projects, PM to say

Australia has under the Paris Agreement committed to cut its carbon emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030

  

CANBERRA- Australia will spend A$539.2 million ($420.25 million) to develop hydrogen and carbon capture projects, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will say on Wednesday.

Australia - one of the world's largest carbon emitters on a per capita basis - is under mounting pressure to reduce its greenhouse emissions as U.S. President Joe Biden convenes a climate summit this week. 

Morrison has so far resisted global calls to commit to a target of net zero emissions by 2050, but he will on Wednesday promise additional spending on clean technology as part of the country's next annual budget that will be revealed next month.

"Australia can and will continue to meet and beat our emissions reduction commitments, while protecting and growing jobs, by commercialising low emissions technologies like hydrogen and (carbon capture and carbon storage), that can support our industries and critical economic sectors," Morrison will say on Wednesday, extracts of the announcement, seen by Reuters, said.

"And when we commercialise those technologies, they also create new jobs."

Morrison will say A$275.5 million will go towards accelerating the development of four additional clean hydrogen hubs in regional Australia and implementing a clean hydrogen certification scheme. The remaining money will support the development of carbon capture and storage projects.

The spending plans are part of Canberra's pledge to spend A$18 billion over the next 10 years in technologies to cut carbon emissions to meet its climate ambitions.

Australia has under the Paris Agreement committed to cut its carbon emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2030. Under a plan to invest A$18 billion in technology this decade, the government expects to achieve a 29% reduction.

($1 = 1.2830 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Colin Packham. Editing by Jane Merriman) ((colin.packham@thomsonreuters.com; +61-2 9321 8161; Reuters Messaging: colin.packham.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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