Carbon capture and storage

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Carbon capture and storage would help the coal industry survive, but it remains elusive. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Decades on, the promise of ‘clean coal’ remains elusive

For more than a decade the coal industry's favoured response to climate change was carbon capture and storage, or CCS. CCS is still the main defence, but the absence of functioning projects is making it ever more threadbare.
Countries should make pledges to fund low-carbon research - such as developing solar technology - and development as part of global climate talks. University of Salford Press Office/Flickr

What’s missing from our climate pledges? Low-carbon R&D

Countries will take emissions reduction pledges to international climate talks in Paris at the end of this year. Those pledges should also include funds for low-carbon R&D.
Another way to change the carbon balance: trees. Neil Palmer/CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Rather than divest, advocate for carbon balancing

Divestment campaigns aim to halt the use of fossil fuels, but the climate can be also stabilized through ‘recarbonization’ techniques, such as reforestation and changing agricultural practices.
Renewables or oil? The former means betting each-way on energy storage. The latter means hoping to pull off a trifecta on carbon storage. Hans Engbers/

Only a mug punter would bet on carbon storage over renewables

The question of whether the future will be powered by coal and oil or by renewable energy is crucially important, both to the medium-term future of the Australian economy and to the long-term future of…
Coal seam gas is only one issue for managing one of Australia’s most important geological resources. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Coal seam gas is just the latest round in an underground war

In a recent article on The Conversation, Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) researchers argued that the industry is progressing faster than the science, leading to concerns over fugitive emissions and impacts…
CSIRO’s solar-concentrating mirrors can be used for several purposes, including creating high-energy ‘SolarGas’. CSIRO

Australia should export more ideas and fewer greenhouse emissions

As climate negotiators meet at the United Nations' Lima summit, which comes hot on the heels of the landmark US-China climate deal, there is a renewed focus on how the world can move to a lower-emissions…
Investing in fossil fuels for the long term? You might find your plans get pricked. klublu/Shutterstock

The strengthening economic case for fossil fuel divestment

The controversy ignited by the Australian National University in October, when it decided to sell its shares in seven resources companies, has raised two important questions about divestment from assets…
Could carbon capture and storage be the way to clean up coal power stations, such as this one in Australia’s Latrobe Valley? Monash University/Flickr

Carbon capture and storage — reality or still a dream?

To have any chance of avoiding dangerous climate change we’ll have to reduce the carbon emissions from our energy sectors — currently the largest human source of greenhouse gas emissions globally. And…
A protester at recent Australia climate change rallies in the lead up to the UN climate summit in New York. AAP Image/NEWZULU/ZOE REYNOLDS

Australia can get to zero carbon emissions, and grow the economy

Today more than 120 world leaders are gathered in New York for the Climate Leaders’ Summit. With global emissions continuing to rise, it is easy to be pessimistic. But new research released today shows…
The new budget has served up a big hit to Australia’s environment. Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

Litany of deep cuts for environmental programs

Budgets are often framed as give and take. But in the case of the environment, the government is taking large amounts of money in cuts, while giving little back beyond funding the Direct Action climate…
Biomass energy plants, such as this one in the UK, could be crucial for a low-emission future. Peter Robinson/Wikimedia Commons

IPCC expert wrap: the need for emissions-negative energy

The world may have to rely on “emissions-negative” energy technologies in the latter half of this century, according to the…
Can CCS cast a new light on fossil fuel-fired power stations? Alan Murray-Rust

A step forward for CCS, but much greater strides are needed

Despite the evidence that shows greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are leading to changes in the planet’s climate, the development of large scale technologies to slow or stop these effects has…
Steel: red hot and dirty. John Giles/PA

Using iron to clean steelmaking, a very dirty business

Iron and steel are components of an almost limitless number of infrastructure and consumer goods. From forks to tanks, syringes to satellites, cars to computers, from buildings to the power stations that…

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