Energy Matters reveal Greenpeace Australia's views on the Federal Government's plans to set up a global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in Australia. Greenpeace Australia states that carbon dioxide sequestration is an unproven technology and carries the risk of carbon dioxide gases escaping into the environment.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and can be dangerous if emitted in high concentrations. The danger of carbon dioxide emissions was demonstrated during a natural event in Lake Nyos in Africa in the 1980s. In 1986, a cloud of carbon dioxide was expelled from the lake after an eruption. It was estimated that 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide was released in a layer 30 meters high from the ground. The CO2 cloud suffocated humans and animals and the energy from the out gassing event generated waves that destroyed vegetation around the lake. The lake's waters turned muddy brown for months and asphyxiated much of its aquatic life.
Critics of the Federal Government’s ‘clean coal’ initiative feel that the coal fired electricity generation industry must clean up on emissions immediately. However, this initiative should be also seen as a stopgap measure as Australia moves towards renewable energy sources, such as solar power and wind energy to generate electricity.