The federal Senate has blocked Angus Taylor’s efforts to have ARENA fund CCS projects. 

Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor has sought to pass new regulations for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to expand its responsibilities to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects. 

The changes were also aimed at a range of non-renewable energy policies, including the ‘Future Fuels’ fund, soil carbon and grants to improve freight transport productivity.

After failing to abolish ARENA entirely, Mr Taylor’s regulations would have seen it redirect its funds to technologies favoured by the Morrison government.

But the Senate this week cancelled out the controversial regulations, with a conservative Senator threatening to cross the floor over the matter.

A spokesperson for Angus Taylor said the “Morrison government will revisit the regulation in the immediate future”.

“While the Government has not changed its position, the Government has withheld calling a division out of respect for the condolence motion for Senator Kitching,” the spokesperson said.

“The Government remains committed to the regulation and the role it plays in supporting the deployment of low emissions technology. Expanding ARENA’s remit has wide industry support.”

Opposition climate and energy spokesperson, Chris Bowen, welcomed the outcome.

“Morrison and Taylor’s efforts to circumvent the parliament with their dodgy ARENA regulation have been disallowed by the Senate,” Mr Bowen said.

“This disallowance was moved by their own Liberal-led committee, vindicating Labor’s fight to protect ARENA from becoming another Angus Taylor slush fund.”

“The government has variously tried to abolish, undermine, and repurpose ARENA funding for fossil fuels – while they spend taxpayer money on ads claiming credit for ARENAs work.

“They have fought against this outcome for a year – and cannot be trusted on climate change and renewables.”