Fund to leverage carbon capture investment

Angus Taylor says a program to develop carbon capture will reduce emissions and create jobs.
Angus Taylor says a program to develop carbon capture will reduce emissions and create jobs.

As many as 1500 jobs are expected to be created through a $250 million program to develop commercial-scale carbon capture, use and storage technologies in regional Australia.

The Morrison government wants the projects and hubs operating by 2029, with co-investment from state and territory governments and international partners.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the program would operate across two streams: $100 million for the design and construction of carbon capture hubs and shared infrastructure and $150 million for research and commercialisation of carbon capture technologies and finding viable carbon storage sites.

"The projects supported by the CCUS Hubs and Technologies Program will boost delivery of long-term emissions reductions while generating new jobs across the country, particularly for regional Australia," Mr Taylor said.

The technologies capture CO2 from the waste streams of industrial processes, or directly from the atmosphere, and convert it into products, ranging from synthetic fuels to food and beverages, chemicals, and building materials.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has described it as a "pipe dream".

The government expects to see interest in the program from a range of countries including the US, UK, Japan and Singapore.

Mr Taylor told the Australian British Chamber of Commerce this week it was hoped the government's $20 billion "technology investment roadmap" could leverage at least $80 billion of total investment over the next decade.

The announcement comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Taylor finalise the details of a plan to achieve net zero emissions while ensuring jobs and industries are guaranteed in regional areas - a key demand of junior coalition partner, the Nationals.

Labor climate change spokesman Chris Bowen said the government needed to take stronger climate policies to the upcoming Glasgow summit.

"It's very clear we need to commit to zero by 2050, Scott Morrison can't even do that," he said.

"We need policies underpinning a strong, medium-term projection with policies underpinning better 2030 targets."

Mr Morrison has not yet committed to attending the summit, but at least one senior minister will go.

Australian Associated Press