“Powering Past Gas”: Climate Council’s reality check for gas exports

Climate Council

The CLIMATE COUNCIL’s new report, Powering Past Gas: An Energy Strategy that Works, cuts through the noise in Australia’s energy debate, mapping a clear pathway to move beyond gas at home and in our exports.

The report reveals that, if Australia stops opening new gas projects now, supply from existing projects could meet our shrinking domestic gas needs for more than six decades—a clear signal that it’s time to turn off the gas tap for good as we accelerate towards a cleaner, more secure energy future.

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

The report emphasises that Australia does not need new gas projects, as the world will shortly be awash with cheap gas at the same time as this fossil fuel will play a shrinking role in our domestic energy mix and that of overseas trade partners like Japan.

“Gas has a small, shrinking and short-term role to play in our energy mix. We can already meet much of our energy needs with renewables, like solar and wind. If we stopped exporting so much gas, current projects would be enough to supply our domestic gas needs for more than 60 years,” said Mr Bourne.

Senior Researcher at the Climate Council Dr. Wesley Morgan highlights the global shifts in energy consumption: “The global energy landscape is rapidly changing. 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. With new gas projects in the US and Qatar producing massive amounts of new gas, at much lower costs, it’s highly unlikely that new Australian gas projects will be profitable.

“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.”

The Powering Past Gas report offers a powerful alternative plan to the Government’s Future Gas Strategy, by advocating for a strategic phase-down of gas exports, accelerated electrification at home and a proper domestic reservation policy that prioritises meeting Australia’s shrinking gas needs first.

Dr Jennifer Rayner Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Climate Council said: “The Future Gas Strategy is the wrong response to Australia’s energy needs now. We need new policy thinking, not new gas projects.

“We can accelerate the switch to clean energy in our homes, businesses and industry – including stopping the gas industry itself guzzling up three times more gas than Aussie households use. A responsible domestic reservation policy can then ensure our shrinking gas needs are reliably met, as we prioritise the expansion of clean energy exports that help our export partners cut their climate pollution.”

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The Climate Council is Australia’s leading community-funded climate change communications organisation. We provide authoritative, expert and evidence-based advice on climate change to journalists, policymakers, and the wider Australian community.

/Public Release.