Australian gas projects and gas-fired industrial facilities produced more than five times as much climate pollution in the last financial year as the old Liddell coal-fired power station.
A new report by the Australian Conservation Foundation, Gaslighting Australia: why the gas industry is an emerging climate and environmental disaster, finds gas projects and industrial facilities that use gas emitted around 81 million tonnes of climate pollution in 2018-19.
“This analysis shows the gas industry is already having a massive, unacceptable impact on our climate,” said Australian Conservation Foundation climate campaigner Suzanne Harter.
“Existing gas projects and facilities are responsible for around 49% as much climate pollution as Australia’s coal-fired power stations produce annually.
“Gas projects and gas-fired industrial facilities produced more than five times as much climate pollution in the last financial year as the old Liddell coal-fired power station did.
“To describe gas as a transition fuel is downright dangerous in a world now tracking rapidly toward 3.4 degrees of heating.
“New gas projects would lock in decades more climate pollution and risk becoming stranded assets as the world continues moving to clean energy.
“Gas is made up mainly of methane, a potent climate pollutant.
“Rather than prop up dinosaur industries that cause climate change and destroy nature, Australia can choose a different path to re-build the economy and tackle the climate crisis.”
ACF analysed 2018-19 financial year emissions data to determine the carbon impact of gas projects (extraction, processing and pipelines) and industrial facilities that use gas to produce chemicals (like fertilisers), refined metals (like nickel) and other materials (like paper).
This analysis does not consider emissions from gas-fired power stations, mining operations or household gas use, meaning the 81 million tonnes number is well short of the total climate impact of domestic gas use in Australia.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has backed a ‘gas-fired recovery’. A leaked report by the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission’s Manufacturing Taskforce advocates using public money to underwrite a huge expansion of the gas industry in Australia.
Read ACF’s agenda for Australia’s post-COVID recovery: Recover, Rebuild, Renew