For every tonne of climate pollution that will be reduced by Albanese government climate policies to 2030, more than seven tonnes of additional pollution will flow from new fossil fuel projects that have been approved or received other material support under this government, new analysis released today by the Australian Conservation Foundation shows.
The analysis shows 16 new fossil fuel projects that have been approved or received material support under the Albanese government would release 6.9 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over their lifetimes.
A further 10 projects are on the table – not approved or with support provided yet, but with decisions pending. If they go ahead, these projects would release more than 9.9 billion tonnes of carbon pollution.
“The Albanese government has made a range of positive climate commitments since being elected in 2022, but the pollution avoided by these initiatives is dwarfed by the emissions facilitated by the government’s continued approval of coal and gas projects,” said ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“This analysis shows the continued approval of and support for coal and gas projects is outweighing the impact of emissions-cutting programs by about seven-to-one.
“The projects approved under this government will generate around the same amount of climate pollution as 28 years’ worth of emissions from every car, truck and bus in Australia.
“The Albanese government is taking genuine steps to reduce carbon emissions at home, while enabling the increased and indefinite export of coal and gas to other countries.
“It doesn’t matter where it is burnt, Australian coal and gas is fuelling heatwaves, bushfires and coral bleaching in Australia.
“The government might say it’s not responsible for the emissions when Australian coal and gas is burnt overseas, but the fact remains Albanese government decisions are fuelling global warming. It’s the difference between climate accounting and climate accountability.
“It is time for the government to draw a line in the sand and stop approving and supporting any more coal and gas mines because of the damage they do to the climate we all share.
“No government can be credible on climate if it cuts climate pollution with one hand and fuels climate pollution with the other.
“ACF expects the reform of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to mandate an assessment of new coal and gas proposals and the damage they will cause to nature. Any project that will harm our precious nature should be rejected.”
ACF looks forward to seeing the Albanese government’s upcoming annual climate change statement, which should outline the government’s achievements and its plans to reduce the negative impact Australia is having on the global climate.