KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (KUNA) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that his country is seeking to step up funding for hydrogen projects to boost clean energy production, in response to international pressure to set more ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
"We are accelerating the development of our Australian hydrogen industry and it is our ambition to produce the cheapest clean hydrogen in the world, transforming our transport, energy, resources and manufacturing sectors," Morrison said in a joint statement with Energy Minister Angus Taylor, monitored in Kuala Lumpur.
He announced that his government would provide an additional 150 million Australian dollars (USD 108 million) for a further two locations under the Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program to enable the rollout of hydrogen hubs across seven priority regional sites, adding that the total grants provided was 464 million Australian dollars (USD 336 million).
The announcement comes before Morrison heads to Washington for talks with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to discuss climate policy.
Australia's conservative government has resisted international pressure to commit to a net zero emissions target by 2050 after a UN climate report was released last month that called for a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Australia is facing increasing political and economic pressure due to the worsening climate, as the country has suffered in recent years from severe droughts, wildfires, floods and coastal erosion, among other disasters. (end) aab.lr