The Federal Government’s announcement that it is pumping millions of dollars worth of taxpayer money into growing gas represents a major blow to the economy and the environment, says Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
Fronted by Energy Minister Angus Taylor, the Morrison Government today announced a national gas infrastructure plan under the guise of addressing a shortfall, when in reality around three-quarters of Australia’s gas is exported, with gas companies paying little Australian tax.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter said the Morrison Government’s gas plan poses serious environmental and economic risks as the world moves to renewable energy.
“This is a reckless and dishonest plan to lock Australia into a disastrous future. It is a plan to benefit gas corporations at the expense of the health and safety of Australian people, our land and water supplies and the climate.
“What the Morrison Government has announced today is that it plans to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on propping up the dangerous, failing gas industry.
“This plan was launched to address an alleged shortfall, but yet again we’re on the receiving end of more lies from the Morrison Government. There is no gas shortfall and soon, there will be no market for dirty Australian gas as the world moves to renewable energy, with some of Australia’s biggest gas customers setting binding emissions reduction targets.
“We’re a matter of weeks out of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, where world leaders, including Australia, recommitted to keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees. We know from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that any new coal, oil, or gas projects are inconsistent with this objective, and yet the Morrison Government is brazenly flouting the climate pact we made with the world.
“Gas is a dangerous fossil fuel that is one of the major drivers of climate change. The extraction, processing, and export of gas have been significant drivers of Australia’s consistently high official emissions.
“Investments in gas run an extremely high risk with proposed mega gas facilities becoming doomed cost-heavy stranded assets – sending billions and billions of investor and taxpayer dollars down the drain.
“By locking in huge investment losses through gas, the Morrison government has shown it’s not only a climate wrecker, but also economically illiterate.”
The announcement comes days after Woodside greenlit its toxic $16.5 billion Scarborough gas mega-development, the biggest new fossil fuel project in the country for a decade. According to the energy provider, the project will secure another 30 years of gas exports.