A major new UN report released today reveals the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from methane, while the Federal Government continues to throw millions at the gas industry in pursuit of a ‘gas led recovery’ which Greenpeace Australia Pacific warns is fuelling dangerous climate change. 
The Global Methane Assessment, published today by UNEP and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition shows emissions of the planet-heating gas spiked last year with much of the damage caused by fossil fuel operations venting unwanted gas and failing to properly seal equipment. 
“Despite mounting evidence of the dangerous role that gas, a major source of methane emissions, plays in driving the climate crisis, the Federal Government keeps throwing millions of taxpayer’s dollars at expensive, polluting gas projects. This is adding fuel to dangerous climate change at a time when the world needs to rapidly cut emissions,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Research and Investigations, Dr Nikola Casule said.
In recent months the Morrison Government has pledged $32 million for the Golden Beach gas production and storage project in Gippsland, Victoria, $6.2 million to further develop the Wallumbilla gas supply hub in Queensland, $5 million to examine the feasibility of a new pipeline to link the North Bowen basin to the east coast market and last October allocated an additional $52.9 million to the “gas-fired recovery”.
“Methane has 84 times more global heating potential in a 20-year timeframe than carbon dioxide Adding more gas to the climate at this crucial point for the world to reduce emissions to avoid devastating climate impacts is madness. This report reveals the Federal Government’s gas plan for what it is – a dangerous distraction at a time when Australia should be accelerating the shift to renewable energy,” Dr Casule said.
The report highlights how reducing methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective strategies to reduce global heating, stating that “the fossil fuel sector has the greatest potential for targeted mitigation by 2030″ and that taking these measures would help to prevent 255 000 premature deaths, 775 000 asthma-related hospital visits each year.