Building Coalitions on CCS - Roundtable

Chairman's Statement

The Roundtable convened by the University of Melbourne at the request of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is an important example of the benefits that can be achieved when an academic institution and an Australian Government department connect to explore a particular set of problems and opportunities.

The Roundtable on ‘Building CCUS Coalitions and Momentum’ was led by the Peter Cook Centre for CCS Research. It brought together representatives from Federal and State Government, industry, academia and other
institutions to share knowledge, ideas and aspirations about the future role of CCUS in Australia and in partnering countries.

The momentum for the forum arose in light of Australian Government emission reduction commitments at COP 21, together with recognition that some of the nation’s primary export commodities are at risk in a carbon
constrained environment. The discussion was set in a content in which fossil fuels will continue to play a significant role in the global energy mix for decades to come. It also acknowledged that there is a need to decrease emissions from the domestic industrial sector where coal or gas use cannot be replaced by renewables.

The issues around cost, policy, and social license to operate were explored in depth by Roundtable participants. At the close of discussions, it was clear that the narrative around CCUS needs to strongly convey that for most industrial and chemical processes, there is no real alternative to the deployment of CCUS for the reduction of carbon emissions. Given these industrial processes account for 25% of total global emissions this is a critical area to address.

A renewed narrative on CCUS should also clearly capture the inevitable fact that many climate models call for negative emissions after 2050. There is no other technology available that can achieve this – CCS is the only technology that can remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

The way forward in promoting deployment of CCUS is through collaboration, both domestically and particularly with like-minded countries working in partnership with Australia. DFAT are striving to facilitate collaborative projects with other countries via its network of its global trade links.

We at the University look forward to continuing the dialogue with DFAT and offering whatever help we can in the pursuit of its objectives.

Assoc. Prof Malcolm Garratt
Chair, Peter Cook Centre for CCS Research