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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
&
Australian Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources
Ian MacFarlane

16 March 2006

Coal industry commits to low emissions technology


Australian Minister for Resources, Ian Macfarlane, and the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, have today welcomed the establishment of a new industry fund to support the demonstration of clean coal technology.

The Australian Coal Association's 'COAL21 Fund' aims to raise in the order of $300 million over the next five years through a voluntary production levy on coal producers.

The fund will support implementation of the COAL21 National Action Plan, which includes research, development and demonstration of clean coal technologies.

"In establishing the 'COAL21 Fund', Australian coal producers are helping to ensure the long-term viability of their industry," Mr Macfarlane said.

"No one can deny the vital contribution coal makes to our economic growth, but this does place an obligation on Australia to lead technological developments in the cleaner use of this resource."

Senator Campbell said the coal industry had made a significant step in the fight to combat climate change.

"While alternatives applied around the world, such as efficient energy initiatives, solar power, wind, and nuclear energy will all play an important part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, the problem of climate change will not be solved without a breakthrough in clean coal technology," he said.

Initiated by the Australian coal industry, COAL21 is a partnership between Federal and State governments, the coal and electricity generation industries and the research community that aims to reduce carbon emissions from the coal industry.

"The COAL21 fund will complement an already substantial investment in low-emissions technology by the Australian Government," Senator Campbell said.

"This includes the $500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund and the $100 million energy fund announced at the Asia-Pacific Clean Development and Climate Partnership."

Mr Macfarlane said the success of the COAL21 fund would depend on contributions by all Australian black coal producers - those who stood to gain the most benefit from low emissions technologies.

"I urge these producers to get on board and support this very promising industry initiative," he said.

For more information on the COAL21 project, visit www.coal21.com

Media Contact:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Kirsty Boazman (Mr Macfarlane) 02 6277 7580, 0412 171 444

Commonwealth of Australia