22 April 2021
As the Prime Minister pins all his hopes on technology to save his government’s complete lack of any climate policy, his financial commitment doesn’t match up to his marketing.
In the wake of President Biden’s announcement of a $2 trillion climate infrastructure package, Scott Morrison has proposed a $539 million hydrogen and CCS hub spend to spruik his low emissions technology strategy, 3700x less in total and 290x less per capita than the Biden administration.
Most of this funding will go to coal, oil and gas, the leading causes of climate change. Further, Morrison’s proposed spending still sees Australia fall well behind the rest of the world.
The Greens are also concerned that Morrison still doesn’t understand the key difference between dirty ‘blue’ and ‘brown’ hydrogen which has very limited demand from export destinations with net-zero targets and zero-emissions green hydrogen with enormous potential.
Green Hydrogen will deliver a massive jobs and export boom to Australia if we invest now, but on current spending commitments, Australia is set to lose out on what is tipped to be a $15 trillion dollar ($12tUSD) industry as rivals investments in green hydrogen development dwarf paltry efforts by the Morrison government.
International comparison of government-led investments in Hydrogen:
AUD conversion ($m)
*$346m includes $70.2m from 2020-21 Budget and today’s pre-announced $275.5m for hydrogen (including fossil-fuel based hydrogen) for the 2021-22 Budget
“Under Scott Morrison, Australia is set to lose the green hydrogen race and miss out on jobs and billions of dollars in exports,” said Mr Bandt.
“Scott Morrison is using public money to turn coal and gas into hydrogen. That’s not supporting green hydrogen, it’s a fossil fuel handout.
“As Joe Biden demands countries including Australia lift their 2030 targets and phase out coal, this kind of spin won’t cut it and Australia will face international pressure.
“This government’s obsession with coal and gas is about to cost Australia as other countries invest heavily in green hydrogen, giving them the edge as future markets open up.
“With all our wind and sunshine, this is Australia’s competitive advantage to seize, but it is being lost.”
“As our competitors and customers invest billions into the future, Australia is putting all its chips on yesterday’s technology while simultaneously saying technology will save us.’
The Greens have also called on the government to support green metal production in Australia.
“South Korea and Japan are in the top 3 of Australia’s export gas customers. Their green hydrogen development, together with their net-zero targets pose a direct challenge to ongoing gas sales. We’re backing the wrong horse.”
“Our big export destinations will want green steel and aluminium, and Scott Morrison is locking us into coal and gas manufacturing. It’s economic vandalism that will kill thousands of jobs,” Bandt said.