Research from Energy and Resources Insights (ERI) shows existing and new coal and gas projects will exceed the entire emissions budget for the safeguard mechanism by 2030 from on-site, scope one emissions alone.

The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) commissioned ERI to model the emissions impact of known closures and expansions at coal and gas production and processing facilities over the course of this decade. 

The modelling shows scope one emissions from coal and gas facilities expected to be operating in 2030 exceeding the entire emissions budget under the safeguard mechanism. 

This leaves no room for the more than 130 facilities – like smelters, steel processing and manufacturing – currently reporting to the safeguard mechanism that are not coal and gas facilities. 

“Given these stark numbers, this report shows there’s no room for new fossil fuel facilities under an effective safeguard mechanism,” said ACF’s Climate Change program manager Gavan McFadzean. 

“Meeting Australia’s 2030 climate target will require dramatic emissions reductions from Australia’s coal and gas producers and strict limits on new projects.

These facilities need to invest in mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the sector, especially when it comes to coal mine methane.

“Australia is a long way behind when it comes to ensuring that coal and gas producers employ even those emissions reduction measures that would save them money. 

“Before even considering the climate wrecking emissions caused by burning coal and gas, we are looking at 11.8 and 28.4 million tonnes of emissions just from new projects extracting coal and gas in 2030 alone.

“If this industry is serious about meeting its climate targets, it must invest in technologies to reduce scope one emissions at the very least.”

 The report also finds the quantity of excess emissions from new and existing coal and gas projects is very likely to dramatically outstrip the number of carbon credits available. 

“While we see the use of carbon credits as a last resort for hard to abate emissions, it is alarming that scope one emissions from coal and gas facilities would exceed the quantity of offsets available,” Mr McFadzean said.

ERI report: Impact of new and existing coal and gas projects under the safeguard mechanism

ACF explainer: What is the safeguard mechanism?

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992 or Freya Cole on 0477 638 774. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email [email protected]