On this day 10 years ago, a report appeared in the Canberra Times (see below) about the launch of a ‘clean coal’ discussion paper of the ALP. They were trying to square a circle – to capture voters concerned about climate change, but without appearing ‘anti-coal’…
It has been a very very long ten years. In that time CCS went up like a rocket and down like a stick. Combet became a Labor MP, helped design a doomed emissions trading scheme, was offered a shot at the Prime Ministership as the anyone-but-Kevin candidate (he declined) and then left parliament at the 2013 elections. Meanwhile, the emissions? They climbed. The atmospheric concentration if C02? It climbed. Chances of a habitable planet for the young and as-yet-unborn? Plummeted. So it goes.
Australia’s coal and power generation industries must shoulder a large part of the cost of developing clean coal technologies, investing ”billions not millions” to mitigate climate change, ACTU secretary Greg Combet says. ”We are talking about companies that make multibillion-dollar profits from coal mining. It is only fair that a slice of those profits be directed to the research and development needed to substantially reduce greenhouse emissions,” he said. Speaking from the Hunter Valley, where he was launching a clean coal discussion paper with Opposition environment spokesman Peter Garrett, Mr Combet called for the Federal Government’s Minimum [sic] Renewable Energy Target for green electricity generation to be boosted.
Beeby, R. 2007. Put power profits into clean energy: Combet. Canberra Times, 13 March.