CSIRO completes first-ever stocktake of Australia’s carbon sequestration potential
The CSIRO finds “Australia has good opportunities to sequester carbon”. However, there is no silver bullet. A portfolio of approaches would be required to meaningfully increase carbon sequestration and help achieve Australia’s emissions reduction targets.
Engineered approaches (for example, direct air capture with geological storage) can provide more secure and longer-lived storage than nature-based approaches, but are currently more costly. Nature-based approaches cost less, but are shorter-lived and more vulnerable to environmental impacts. Both engineered and nature-based technologies could offer environmental and economic co-benefits, particularly for Australia’s regions and First Nations peoples.
Achieving the Paris Agreement goals will primarily require urgent and ambitious cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions, supplemented by the removal and storage of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
This first-ever stocktake of Australia’s carbon sequestration potential is an important step in building our understanding of the role it plays in Australia’s decarbonisation pathway. Yet it finds investment is needed in analytical modelling capabilities to improve estimates, which is vital to strategically plan resilient and sustainable portfolios of sequestration options.
The CSIRO’s technical report, Australia’s sequestration potential, released today, is an analysis of existing literature on nature-based and engineered carbon sequestration approaches. It provides independent estimates of the sequestration potential for twelve different technologies under common assessment criteria including technology readiness, scalability, co-benefits, cost, and sequestration length of storage.
The CSIRO’s report was commissioned by the Authority, with co-funding from the Clean Energy Regulator and is part of our broader Carbon Sequestration Potential project. See the link for further information on the technical report.