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Australia and UK agree to collaborate on low emissions technologies

Australia and the UK have announced plans to establish a partnership for the research and development of low emission technologies.

The letter of intent, signed on 29 July 2021, outlines the governments’ plans to focus their partnership on six technologies: clean hydrogen; carbon capture and use (CCU); carbon capture and storage (CCS); small modular reactors including advanced nuclear designs and enabling technologies; low emissions material including green steel; and soil carbon measurement.

As the first initiative under the partnership, Australia and the UK will develop a joint industry ‘challenge’ to increase the competitiveness of industry, reduce emissions and support economic growth.

In his statement announcing the partnership, Australia’s minister for energy and emissions reduction, Angus Taylor, said: “Collaborating more closely with key partners like the UK means we are positioning Australia to succeed by investing in the new technologies that will support industry, create jobs and reduce emissions.”

George Varma, a hydrogen expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “The development of low carbon and carbon capture technologies, particularly CCUs, CCS and green hydrogen, will be essential to decarbonising at pace and scale. There will also undoubtedly be economic benefits to countries who are early movers in this space. Australia is really at the forefront of these emerging industries and our deep social and economic ties to the UK make it a natural partnership when it comes to collaborating on new technologies and leveraging each other’s strengths and experience.”

The partnership forms part of the Australian government’s AUS$565.8 million ($417.6m) commitment in its 2021-22 to back low emissions international technology partnerships and initiatives by co-funding research and demonstration projects.

Both Australia and the UK are prioritising low carbon and carbon capture technologies as a primary means of reducing emissions; the UK through its ‘clean growth strategy’ and Australia through its ‘technology investment roadmap’.


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