Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News
KIERAN GILBERT: We’re tight for time given that news conference went overtime, but Angus Taylor joins me from the Hunter. First of all, let’s talk about why you’re there, the whole idea of the carbon capture technology. Is there actually any realistic prospect that carbon capture and storage will work given people have been talking about this for decades?
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well its working, Kieran. There’s 65 projects around the world in a range of countries – actually, a large number of them are in the United States. The biggest one is in Australia. It’s based on enhanced oil recovery technology, which has been around for a long, long while. It’s working, it’s storing carbon, and those projects are running at about 14 million tonnes a year in total. The IPCC recommends it as an essential technology to get the world’s emissions down, obviously. And the International Energy Agency says the exact same. So, this is not something out in the future. This is now, it is happening. It’s a critical technology. One way to store the carbon or to use the carbon is to put it into building materials, and I was seeing in Newcastle University today some extraordinary research being done putting carbon into cement and into other materials. But the other way is under the ground, geosequestration. As I say, that’s not a new technology, it’s been around for a long while, but we’re using it for a different purpose than it has been and there’s many, many projects happening. I should say by the way, that we’ll been working with countries around the world on this. Joe Biden has said when it comes to carbon capture and storage, the United States will be doubling down. So we’ll be working closely with the United States on this, and other countries. The UK is strongly committed to it, and many countries throughout Asia. So this is a priority for us.
KIERAN GILBERT: You might also be able to work with Labor, because Labor’s platform, its policy platform includes support for carbon capture and storage, and for gas as a transition fuel. Do you welcome that? There doesn’t seem to be much difference between you and Labor now on that.
ANGUS TAYLOR: Well, they’re starting to say positive things about gas. We welcome that. But they’ve got to put their money where their mouth is, Kieran. I mean, Labor will talk about these things, but when it comes to doing things, it seems to be a lot harder. We know Joel Fitzgibbon is in favour of gas generators and the gas industry. It’s much less clear to me that the left of the Labor Party is, and there’s an enormous amount of division on this issue. But certainly, we welcome working with them on it. I’m here at the Kurri Kurri smelter site which we are repurposing as we speak to be ready to build a gas generator to replace Liddell, which is scheduled to close in 2023. We would very much like Labor to support this project and many others that are crucial to affordable, reliable energy in this country, and at the same time, bringing down emissions. We’re getting on with it, we’re doing real things.
KIERAN GILBERT: Okay.
ANGUS TAYLOR: This is a site ready to go. We’ll hit the go button on it as we need to. These are the sort of projects that we’re committed to.
KIERAN GILBERT: Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Hopefully catch you later in the week. Apologies, our time a bit shorter than normal given the Prime Minister’s lengthy news conference on some serious issues.