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Budget 2007: New CSIRO Climate Change and Energy Flagship.

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Media Release

New CSIRO Climate Change and Energy Flagship

8 May 2007 BUDB 30/07

The Minister for Education, Science and Training the Hon Julie Bishop MP, today announced a $103.2 million expansion of the CSIRO National Research Flagships initiative to further develop research into challenges Australia is facing in climate and energy.

The funding, part of the 2007-08 Budget, will be delivered over four years and will allow the creation of a new Flagship for Climate Adaptation and the expansion of the Energy Transformed Flagship to undertake further research into transport fuels.

A new Climate Adaptation National Research Flagship will receive $43.6 million of the funding and will be developed by CSIRO in collaboration with partners such as the Bureau of Meteorology. The Flagship will work to improve predictions of climate variations and their effect on critical environmental matters such as water resources, at a local and regional level. It will provide a scientific base to underpin the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments in April 2007.

Minister Bishop said the initiative is essential for Australia to formulate an appropriate response to climate change.

"With increasing investment in modelling capacity and the scientific understanding of climate change and its impact, Australia can formulate the correct response in terms of national planning, regulation and investment decisions," Minister Bishop said.

The CSIRO's Energy Transformed Flagship will extend its current research into clean energy to incorporate research into developing alternative transport fuels such as biofuels, high density natural gas and the conversion of coal and gas to liquids to improve Australia’s energy security and reduce our dependence on oil imports.

"With 68 per cent of Australia's greenhouse emissions from energy production and transport, this research will allow Australia to better secure its transport fuel future and assist our efforts to minimise greenhouse gas emissions," Minister Bishop said.

Media Contacts

Minister Bishop’s Office: Tory Vidler 0414 228 727

CSIRO: Jamie Nicholson 02 6276 6409

Supporting Information

Why is this important?

Climate Adaptation

• With increased scientific understanding of climate change and its impact, Australia can formulate the correct response in planning, regulation and investment decisions. • Research will provide scientific information to support the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework, recently endorsed by COAG. This includes accurate information on localised climate changes. • Energy • Australia faces the challenge of moving from oil-derived liquid transport fuels to fuel sources with lower greenhouse gas emissions. • The Energy Transformed Flagship will be expanded to include research related to coal to liquids, gas to liquids, solar gas to liquids (solar technology to convert natural gas into a high energy gas for transport fuels, hydrogen and electricity), biofuels and storage of high density natural gas for transport.

Who will benefit?

• The Australian community - through effective risk management of climate change adaptation issues, based on quality information, and improved national fuel self sufficiency. • Regional communities - through improved understanding of climate impacts and the ability to develop appropriate responses. • Industry - through transfer of technological solutions for new products that may also offer enhanced export potential.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

• The Government is committing a total of $103.2 million over four years - $43.6 million for climate and $59.6 million for energy.

What have we done in the past?

• Research into climate change and transport fuels has been ongoing in CSIRO. The National Research Flagships initiative will enable faster delivery of scientific solutions to address these issues.

When will the initiative conclude?

• The initiative will be ongoing with a review in 2010-11.