A new report highlighting the gas industry’s massive carbon emission footprint must prompt decisive action from the federal and state governments to speed up the shift towards renewable energy, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.
The Global Energy Monitor report warned a planned tripling of LNG capacity worldwide would lock in decades of high emissions and have an impact on global warming as large, or larger than, the growth in coal-fired power stations.
Lock the Gate Alliance national coordinator Naomi Hogan said the report should put to rest the myth that unconventional gas could be used as a “transition fuel” away from coal.
“The gas industry and its backers must now accept that coal seam and shale gas are dirty forms of energy that must be avoided going forward,” she said.
“What this new report shows is that emissions from methane produced during the gas extraction and transport process pose an increasing threat, potentially worse than coal.
"Investing in new gas infrastructure is putting us on a path of dangerous pollution and is turbo charging extreme weather which is already taking a toll on Australia - on our agricultural producers and our communities.
“Unfortunately, the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australian Governments remain gung-ho on gas, and the NSW Government still hasn’t moved to protect key farming land.
“There are at least 21,000 coal seam gas wells planned for Queensland’s Western Downs alone, while fracking rigs are poised to roll into the NT and WA, plus the Narrabri gas proposal is still a live consideration in north-west NSW.”
Ms Hogan said with renewable energy and storage now far cheaper than gas, it made no sense for governments to continue encouraging the invasive and dividing gas industry.
"New plans for renewable energy exports from Australia by solar-fed cables or renewable hydrogen represent huge opportunities for jobs and exports without locking in decades of emissions from gas,” she said.
"Australian farmers and Traditional Owners across the country are facing ongoing battles against the gas export giants to protect their water supplies and communities.
"Lock the Gate Alliance is working closely with communities to help win the fight against invasive gas mining, to shift now to renewables and pursue other emerging opportunities in agriculture."