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Govt sets aside $100m to prove clean coal technology exists

The Federal Government has announced a $100 million research scheme which it will use to attempt to prove that ‘clean coal’ technology can slash greenhouse emissions when compared with other coal processing technologies.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Energy and Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, launched the Government’s new Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in Canberra today, and attended its first meeting.

“Carbon capture and storage is important for the whole community, the whole global community, because it’s about energy security,” Ferguson said in a report from ABC News.

“So this is not only smart environmentally, it’s also smart economically for Australia; it’s also smart for the global community to come together, to pool our resources, to try and make progress sooner than later.”

The Government has been slammed by its plans for lowering greenhouse emissions, with green groups saying the reported targets are unrealistic.

According to the ABC News report, the Australian carbon emissions plan hinges on the emergence of cheap and effective clean coal technology.

Without it, the Government’s plan for major reductions in 20 to 50 years cannot be delivered.

Environmentalists say the Government’s focus on clean coal has been at the expense of investment in alternative energy sources, but Ferguson is optimistic about finding the technology.

“We’re not about putting all our eggs in one basket,” Ferguson said.

“We’re about encouraging renewables, but also about accepting economic reality; 82 per cent of our electricity comes from coal-fired power stations.

“This is about a practical endeavour to guarantee that we make progress environmentally [and] reduce C02 emissions by investing in technology.”

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