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CSIRO to invest $90 million in newly-launched Towards Net Zero Mission

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A decarbonisation-themed mission has joined others underway at CSIRO, including drought resilience and ending plastic waste, with a launch on Tuesday of a Towards Net Zero Mission.

The national science organisation said that the mission was initially allocated $90 million, and represented “a large-scale scientific and collaborative research initiative bringing together research, industry, government, and communities to help Australia’s hardest to abate sectors” with a goal of halving emissions by 2035. Cited in the release were steelmaking and agriculture.

CSIRO CEO Dr Larry Marshall said transitioning these sectors would involve both solving a globally-relevant problem as well as an economic opportunity.

“Our hard to abate industries like resources and agriculture are critical Australian advantages and are deeply embedded into the fabric of our regions – regions that our country is built on,” Marshall said in a statement.

“So, our Mission must be co-developed not just with those in the hard to abate industries, but also in partnership with their communities to understand the impacts and opportunities arising from new science-enabled technologies and ways of doing business.

“The transformation of these hard to abate industries and regions is critical to our nation’s future prosperity, and Australian science will ensure no one gets left behind in this enormous transition. Every Australian is part of the journey to net zero.”

According to CSIRO, the new mission would:

  • Support a profitable and sustainable agriculture industry in a low emissions world;
  • Identify what is required to develop new low emissions steel and iron ore processes;
  • Identify what is required to develop sustainable aviation fuel to support our aviation sector;
  • Help regions navigate the transition to net zero through new collaborations, analysis, and support; and
  • Expand Australia’s carbon offset capacity by using and scaling negative emission technologies such as carbon sequestration.

Picture: supplied

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