Climate damage fuelled by polluting coal and gas is hurting us. Mega-fires, blistering heat waves, drought and floods. Just as we recover from one disaster, another one hits.

These natural disasters are becoming more intense and frequent due to the impacts of climate change.

Coal, oil and gas projects are the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

And despite this, the Australian Government continues to invest in gas projects, handing over billions of taxpayers’ dollars to coal and gas companies.

Let’s have a look at why gas is not an option for our future.

Gas is a fossil fuel

Like coal and oil, gas is a fossil fuel. It is formed from the ancient, decomposed remains of plants and animals.

Over millions of years, this decomposition creates gases that become trapped in rock formations deep underground. That gas must then be extracted by drilling, mining and fracking, which have devastating impacts on the environment and release pollutants that contribute to global warming.

Gas is bad for our climate, the environment and our health

From extraction, to transport, processing and export, gas damages our climate and our environment.

Gas is mainly made up of methane — a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide and a dangerous contributor to climate change.

These greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming, which leads to major environmental damage, such as coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

When extracted from underground, particularly through hydraulic fracturing — more commonly known as fracking — it can poison water sources and destroy agricultural land, impacting livelihoods and our access to food and clean water.

The process of fracking — which involves blasting large quantities of high-pressure water and chemicals into coal seams or shale rock to untrap the gas — can also lead to the destruction of sacred First Nation sites.

If fully unleashed — Australia’s gas resources could be responsible for up to three times the annual climate pollution of the entire world.

Furthermore, almost 80% of the gas produced in Australia is exported, with the gas industry itself the second biggest user. This means we contribute to both international and domestic emissions. But regardless of where it's burned, gas causes climate change.

Gas exporters use more gas running their export terminals than all of Australia’s power stations, more than all Australian manufacturing, and almost three times as much as Australian households.

With all the coal and gas we dig up and send overseas, Australia is responsible for 5% of global climate pollution.

Just like coal, gas is a dangerous fossil fuel that belongs in the past. We need to transition coal and gas exports if we want to tackle climate change.

Gas isn’t a cost-effective energy source for Australians

Aussies pay export prices for our own gas. Gas companies are gouging us during a cost-of-living crisis, all while receiving billions in handouts from the government.

Coal and gas companies pay almost no tax, but Australian taxpayers subsidise the coal and gas industries to the tune of $20,000 a minute.

In just a few minutes, public handouts to coal and gas companies are more than the average Australian earns in a year.

This price gouging became more evident in recent times, due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, when Australian coal and gas exporters reported tens of billions of dollars in profits.

Renewable energy is a much more cost-effective energy source for Australians and should replace gas, with studies showing electric alternatives to gas appliances are more efficient in cost and energy use.

There is no future in gas jobs

There are not many jobs in gas and work in the industry is inconsistent due to the dependence on international markets.

The boom-and-bust cycle — in the context of coal, gas and oil — locks communities into economic dependency.

Boom and bust occurs because of supply and demand. Prices can go up and down a lot. When they go up, it causes a rush of investment and when they go down or the supply in an area dries up, they leave communities - and the workers - behind.

Global decarbonisation — the reduction of carbon emissions — is being widely embraced by heavy industries as a way to make their companies more sustainable. Those who cling to coal and gas are being left behind, with more industries turning to renewable energy sources.

Australia’s overreliance on coal and gas leaves us and the workers in these industries vulnerable.

We need the federal government and private sector to team up to support the transition of workers into a secure, well-paid renewable industry, with manufacturing jobs that are future-proofed and safe for our climate.

With the transition to clean, renewable energy sources — like wind and solar — Australia has the opportunity to create 395,000 clean export jobs.

What are the alternatives to gas?

Change is already here —we don’t need to open new gas reserves to move away from coal.

Australia is one of the sunniest, windiest places on earth. We have huge opportunities to power our lives with clean, renewable energy and export our sunshine to the world.

Our government should be supporting growth in green manufacturing and industries of the future, including but not limited to:

  • Green iron and steel
  • Green aluminium
  • Green hydrogen to help decarbonise heavy industries
  • Battery technology and manufacturing
  • Supporting responsible mining of critical minerals such as copper, lithium and nickel

Sunshine, wind and storage can meet our energy needs with cheaper, cleaner, reliable power. The last thing we need is more gas.

The solutions are here and ready to scale. Let’s get on with it.

Help solve the climate crisis and shift to clean energy.

Sign our petition calling for an end to new climate-heating coal and gas projects and infrastructure in Australia.

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