Climate body calls to cut gas exports, not follow government’s “wrong” plan

Climate body calls to cut gas exports, not follow government’s “wrong” plan
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Australia needs to get real about moving on from gas and stricter reservation policies for domestic use, a climate body says amidst the country’s ongoing energy debate.

The Climate Council has released its new report, Powering Past Gas: An Energy Strategy that Works, mapping a clear pathway to cleaner energy both at home and in our exports.

The report reveals that supply from existing gas projects could meet shrinking domestic needs for over six decades, further fuelling calls to move towards clean energy.

“More gas means more harmful climate pollution, endangering our homes and the places we love and putting our kids’ futures at risk,” said Climate Councillor Greg Bourne. “It’s time for Australia to power past gas and turbocharge our switch to clean energy.”

The community-run council has warned the “wrong response” embedded in the federal government’s Future Gas Strategy, which maps out Australia’s plan for how gas production and consumption will support the transition towards net zero by 2050, including creating new gas fields.

They have also warned against the coalition government’s plans for a prolonged reliance on coal and gas-fired electricity if it wins the 2025 election.

Their report instead advocates for a strategic phase down of gas exports, accelerating electrified homes, and a proper domestic reservation policy that prioritises meeting Australia’s shrinking gas needs first.

Senior Researcher at the Climate Council Dr. Wesley Morgan said this would also align with the shifts in global consumption.

“The global energy landscape is rapidly changing,” said Dr Morgan.

“Nations that have traditionally purchased Australian gas, such as Japan, South Korea, and China, are moving to renewables to slash their climate pollution.”

“As we approach 2030 and these countries embrace clean energy, their demand for gas will decline, which means Australian gas expansion is a recipe for economic and environmental chaos.”

Australia must respond to these global shifts or risk being left behind, he continued, adding that it’s highly unlikely that new Australian gas projects will be profitable when new gas projects in the US and Qatar are producing massive amounts of new gas, at much lower costs.

“Australia should take control of our own energy and economic future as these global trends accelerate. Now is the moment for Australia to start a sensible phase out of gas exports as we ramp up the clean alternatives that the Albanese Government has put at the heart of its Future Made in Australia plans.”

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