Unwise to rely on tech to combat climate change: Pengana

Australia “lacks credibility” by relying on technology to combat climate change as many of these technologies are not yet commercially-viable, according to Pengana.

Speaking to Money Management, Adam Myers, executive director and investment specialist for Pengana’s WHEB Sustainable Impact fund, said there was no single factor that people should be focused on and the breadth of the challenge was “staggering”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s climate action plan, released this week, stated Australia’s target to be net zero by 2050 ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26) next month.

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Myers said: “That commitment is just a ticket to the party, that is the minimum we can do and everyone else is making more ambitious targets because it will be necessary. We need to do it by 2035 and have concrete plans in place as soon as possible”.

Much of Morrison’s plan focused on technology that was not yet available or commercially viable such as green steel and aluminium, low emission cement production, carbon capture and soil carbon and hydrogen, a move Myers said was unwise.

“For example, fugitive coal bed emissions, which are the gases that escape even before the coal is burnt, are a heavy pollutant. So, the Government needs to come up with a way to capture that carbon and the technology for that is in its infancy, it is not viable yet.

“You lack credibility if you rely only on what’s on the horizon.”

There was much existing technology which was viable, he said, including solar panels, insulation and wind turbines but greater incentives were needed to encourage their use on a large-scale basis.

“There are some service providers which have had an economic tailwind for some time but now they have a sovereign guarantee. We have so many examples of existing technologies that are more efficient and are making a difference. But we need more of it faster and with greater incentives,” he said.





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