A new report, “Reduce, remove and store: The role of carbon sequestration in accelerating Australia’s decarbonisation,” contains 23 policy insights as part of a “deep dive” designed to help policymakers, emitters and markets to better understand how sequestration can be scaled-up, accelerated and used responsibly.
Sequestration is a necessary part of any rapid, urgent decarbonisation, and the sequestration industry represents a huge opportunity for Australia if we get it right, states the report – released by the Climate Change Authority.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that for a 50% chance of limiting global warming to below 1.5°C, around 6 billion tonnes of CO2 would have to be removed per year by 2050 globally, and about 14 billion tonnes per year by 2100.
Where does the mining industry fit in?
The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) “Climate Action Plan Progress Report 2022” demonstrates the mining industry’s continuing action to reduce emissions as it works towards an ambition of net zero by 2050.
Building on the 30 actions identified in the first Climate Action Plan released in 2020, this progress report provides an update on how the industry is progressing these measures and keeping emissions as low as possible.
In the face of unprecedented demand and value growth for Australian metals and minerals, the progress report confirms that 93% of measures contained within the plan have commenced, and 80% are on track in year two.
A number of member climate initiatives announced during 2021-22 are highlighted and demonstrate member commitments to emissions reduction and the vital role technology development and deployment will play in the pathway to net zero.
These include initiatives around hydrogen-fueled freight, electric and autonomous vehicles, solar plants and battery storage, methane capture and conversion, CO2 emissions tracking systems, renewable energy agreements, battery minerals contracts and LNG-fueled bulk carriers.
Also interesting is, according to the research report, “Global Carbon Dioxide Removal Potential of Waste Materials From Metal and Diamond Mining,” enhanced weathering, whereby the natural reactions between CO2 and silicate minerals that produce dissolved bicarbonate ions are accelerated, has the potential to remove substantial CO2 on decadal to centennial timescales. The global mining industry produces huge volumes of fine wastes that could be utilised as feedstock for enhanced weathering.
And more new developments emerge by the day.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor