Media Release issued by Ian Macfarlane, Ministry for Industry, Tourism, and Resources, Australia, 26 September 2005

Australia will be one of the key country attendees at the fourth joint Policy and Technical Group meeting of the multi-national Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) which opens on September 27 in Berlin.

Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said this meeting would build on work undertaken by the fora’s members since Australia hosted the last CSLF Ministerial meeting in Melbourne last September.

“Australia is determined to be one of the leaders of this international endeavour to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the capture and long-term geologic storage of carbon dioxide.”

“It’s a process with tremendous potential but will be best developed through international co-operation. Australia sees this Leadership Forum as one of our key means of advancing these issues internationally,” said Mr Macfarlane.

The Berlin meeting will address three key themes: scientific and technical viability of the long-term storage process; the development of environmental, legal and financial issues regulatory regimes; and raising community awareness.

“Fossil fuels will remain the mainstay of energy production well into the 21st century, and the continued use of these fuels to provide clean, affordable energy is essential for global prosperity and security.”

“However, with that continued usage, comes an obligation to develop ways of producing the fossil fuels in a cleaner and greener fashion. Carbon capture has the potential to change the way we view fossil fuels.”

About half Australia’s CO2 emissions have good potential to be sequestered because they are derived from stationary sources, and Geoscience Australia has now identified 65 viable carbon dioxide storage sites in Australia.

“Australia has the geology, the scientific expertise, the industry enthusiasm and the political will to capitalise on the carbon capture opportunity. But it’s an opportunity that will take an international effort to realise.”

“Only the combination of the CSLF’s different perspectives and capabilities will bring about the successful, economical and responsible development of carbon sequestration,” said Mr Macfarlane.