As stated by Shane Rattenbury, ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.
“Energy Ministers meetings are an important national forum for improving the security and reliability of our energy networks, and for coordinating efforts to decarbonise the energy sector. We are committed to working with other jurisdictions to do this.
“The ACT today supported important reforms to improve competition and transparency in the gas market and better regulate gas pipelines. However, the ACT does not support further expansion of the gas sector or the ‘gas-led recovery’ the Federal Government is pushing. This is the critical decade for climate action and we can’t afford to waste more time and resources on further investment in gas supply or infrastructure.
“In the ACT, we are committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2045 at the latest. Having transitioned to 100% renewable electricity we are now shifting our focus to phasing out fossil-fuel gas.
“We need a unified national approach that clearly outlines a decarbonisation pathway for our energy sector. In a world where intermittent energy supplies will dominate, a coordinated energy market is more important than ever. We need a strong and coordinated grid that can ensure reliable, affordable supply. The current lack of clear national policy risks splintering the National Electricity Market by forcing a series of localised policies, leading to inefficiencies and delays in the energy transition.
“Adding to this is the Federal Government’s continued prioritisation of fossil fuel generation over renewable energy, the most recent example being their decision to invest $600 million of taxpayer funds into building a gas-fired power plant that experts say isn’t needed.
“We need an energy market that is fit for purpose in a carbon-constrained future. The longer we delay shifting to zero emissions energy sources, the more our economy and our society will suffer. Further investment in fossil fuels exposes us all to unacceptable climate risks.”
A 2020 report by the Grattan Institute concluded that “The only rational approach, for governments, the energy industry, and its customers, is to begin planning for a future without natural gas, or at least with a substantially reduced role for natural gas…Large-scale use of gas as a transition fuel – supplying ‘baseload power’ with lower emissions than coal – does not stack-up economically or environmentally.”
A 2021 report by the Climate Council found that gas use in homes is exposing Australian children to a higher risk of asthma, as well as driving climate change.