GAS IS HIGHLY POLLUTING, driving climate change, and the reason power prices have been so high for Australians on the east coast over the past several years, experts have warned in a new Climate Council report.
“Greenhouse gas emissions from the processing, extraction and export of gas have likely been underestimated,” said Climate Councillor and former president of BP Australasia, Greg Bourne.
“Our gas supply is primarily made up of methane, a greenhouse gas which is up to 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the short-term,” he said.
In its latest report, Primed For Action, the Climate Council finds that a resilient recovery from the coronavirus must prepare Australia for the next major threat – climate change.
“The potential for job creation in the renewables sector is substantial and can set up our economy for the 21st century,” said Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie.
Report Key Findings
- COVID-19 has shown Australians that effective action is possible when politicians listen to scientific experts and act swiftly on their advice.
- In the coming years, Australian governments will be forced to spend heavily to restart economies, leaving massive debt for future generations. It would be unconscionable for these investments to be made in industries and infrastructure which increase emissions and worsen climate change.
- New gas projects will create huge investment losses, stranded assets and colossal environmental harm.
- Australia’s economy must be set on a path to net zero emissions. This should include becoming an exporter of clean energy to help the rest of the world reduce their emissions.
“The recovery from the COVID-19 crisis presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prime Australia to be a renewables powerhouse, creating jobs and tackling climate change at the same time,” said Ms McKenzie.
“It was only a few short months ago that Australia was ravaged by a horror bushfire season driven by climate change. And, while we’ve been focused on COVID-19, the Great Barrier Reef has suffered its third mass bleaching event in five years. The economic impacts of climate change are clear and escalating,” she said.
“Public investment in gas would be a disastrous waste, locking in more dangerous climate change and higher energy prices,” she said.
“”Politicians have listened to expert scientific advice on COVID-19 and acted. It is urgent they do the same with climate change,” said Ms McKenzie.
“We need to be leaders in renewable technology and electrification of our industry. We need the government to once again drive investment in science, education and industry to create the country we need in order to thrive in a fossil fuel-free world,” said energy expert Greg Bourne.
“Australia has proven that we can come together in a crisis, and now we have to come together to rebuild and refocus our economy for a decarbonised world,” he said.