This Bill amends the Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981 to allow for the international export of carbon dioxide (CO2) for the purposes of carbon capture and storage (CCS). It also enables permits to be granted for the placement of waste or other matter for a marine geoengineering activity for the purposes of scientific research.
As it stands and for the foreseeable future, CCS does not offer a solution to the enormous contributions of the fossil fuel industry to climate change and may risk the achievement of Australia’s international obligations relating to climate change. Additionally, geoengineering raises extensive regulatory, scientific, and ethical questions which have not been adequately resolved at the domestic or international level. Both these policy choices facilitate the continued production and use of fossil fuels, which is incompatible with the action required to ensure a safe climate. EDO recommends the Federal Government instead focus on ensuring Australia is doing its fair share to ensure a safe climate, and keeping global heating below 1.5C, by phasing out fossil fuels and ensuring a rapid and equitable energy transition.