Fight Against Climate Change - Can Carbon Capture and Storage Enhance Australia's Climate

Fight Against Climate Change

As the world has become more industrialized, the need to balance development and environmental conservation has increased as the world has become more industrialised. Many nations have put their best foot forward, doing what they can to preserve what they can for the next generations. In Australia, carbon capture and storage, often referred to as CCS, has become a hot topic in environmental conservation organizations. This guide explains what this technology comprises and why it could be a game-changer in this country.

What is Carbon Capture and Storage

People often talk about carbon dioxide as if it is the enemy. But here is the thing. Without this gas, our earth's natural greenhouse effect would not be enough to warm the global surface temperature. We would thus freeze. Thanks to carbon dioxide, the earth can maintain an optimal temperature. However, the trouble comes in when people add too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus causing what we have come to know as global warming - think melting glaciers and forest fires.

CCS technology aims at reducing this supplemental carbon dioxide from sources such as power plants and industries using three key stages, as follows:


At this stage, the machine separates carbon dioxide from other gases. In some cases, organizations use the gas in their operations, e.g., to make products such as biofuels or concrete. Doing this creates a carbon capture utilization and storage mechanism.


The machine then compresses the carbon dioxide for transport. Pipelines are often the most effective, though some people use trucks and rails. The best option depends on the distance covered and the amount of gas.


This essential step allows the organization to prevent carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Possible storage spaces include depleted gas fields, saline solutions, underground, etc.

As industries do this, they reduce the amount of carbon dioxide getting into the atmosphere and can thus prevent the heightened greenhouse effect that has been causing many climatic calamities.

Why Is Australia Using CCS Technology

CCS Technology

Australia currently ranks among the top countries that have adopted CCS in their industrial activities. But why is reducing carbon dioxide emissions so important in this country?

  1. Emission targets: Like most countries, Australia acknowledges its role in climate change and wishes to mitigate this effect. It has since committed to a net zero emission target by 2050, which requires regulators and other stakeholders to adopt measures (including CCS) to help meet this deadline. But Australia is not just bound to this goal alone - it is also subject to the global climate agreements that require all parties to reduce their emissions. CCS is thus a two-fer as it helps the country hit its domestic and international targets with just one technology.
  2. Cost-effectiveness: One of the main ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is to pull back on some industrial activities, including the fossil fuel industry. However, in Australia, this industry contributes a significant chunk to the country's economy and stopping or reducing such efforts would stall overall development. CCS provides a middle ground that allows the industries to continue operating without harming the environment, making it a win-win situation.
  3. Versatility: CCS helps in many ways. First, it allows industries to keep operating instead of forcing stakeholders to invest huge sums of capital in overhauling their existing systems—by installing this technology, they can keep running as before. Second, it applies to various industries, enabling different stakeholders to use the same mechanism to meet industrial standards. As such, regulators can use the same technology as a standard across industries when checking their emissions.
  4. Research availability: Australia has spared no expense in tackling climate change. As such, its research and development teams (including Global CCS Institute and CSIRO) have asserted CCS is an effective way of addressing this environmental issue. Thanks to its actionability and reliability, CCS is not just good on paper but also in reality.

While this technology may not stop industries from producing carbon dioxide (a by-product of their processes), it provides an easy way to eliminate the emissions instead of simply allowing them into the atmosphere.

CCS Examples in Australia

Thanks to governmental buy-in, Australian industries have easily adopted CCS technology. Let's review two good examples:

The Gorgon CCS Project:

This project, which falls under Chevron, is one of the biggest of its kind in the world. Its strategy is to capture and store carbon dioxide from Barrow Island, thus reducing its availability in the environment.

CarbonNet Project:

This initiative hinges on increasing CCS projects in the Gippsland Basin in Victoria, thus reducing regional emissions. The government has invested heavily in it to boost its reach, which is set to positively impact the whole country.

More projects have emerged, with industry reports showing that more stakeholders will embrace this climate-friendly option in the next few decades, which aligns with Australia's zero net emissions strategy.

Are There Challenges

CCS implementation has had a positive impact on climate change. However, it has not been free of challenges. Consider them below:

A high capital cost:

CCS comes with a cost barrier, which limits who can implement it as a sustainable measure. While the government has been investing in multiple projects, the feasibility of this technology resonates with capital-intensive industries and may not be achievable for other sectors.

Technical concerns:

Many stakeholders have raised concerns regarding possible leakages, lack of site availability, and potential environmental risks. Industries implementing the technology thus have to work harder for stakeholder buy-in, which requires several processes and checks that hamper the already costly process.

Policy challenges:

While Australia has mapped out a legal framework to govern CCS, the available policies are not enough long-term, resulting in uncertainty. Thus, the government needs to step in and assure its investors with clearer regulations addressing the long-term liability of stored carbon dioxide.

Thus, more research is needed into how stakeholders can address these issues to make CCS more effective in tackling climate change in the long run.


Carbon capture and storage is a step in the right direction as it can help industries reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thus protect the environment. This technology is especially important in Australia as the country currently has impending net zero emission deadlines and thus needs to guide its emission-heavy industries in an environmentally-friendly direction. However, this move will only bear fruit if the authorities work with research organizations to seek more cost-effective and sustainable ways to adopt this promising technology.