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  • Writer's pictureGregory Andrews

"Future Gas Strategy" Will Roast Us All

The Australian Government's "Future Gas Strategy" released today is a sad and disappointing example of hypocritical climate policy that threatens to roast us all. Despite global scientific consensus emphasising the urgency of phasing out fossil fuels, the Government is promoting expanded gas exports and consumption out to and beyond 2050. This will lock Australia into a high-emissions and dangerous future.


The policy is riddled with flaws and contradictions that cannot be ignored:


1. Hypocrisy on Climate Commitments: While claiming to uphold decarbonisation goals, the government is actively supporting scaled up gas production and exports. This is an industry responsible for significant emissions growth. How can Australia achieve any meaningful reduction targets when its main focus is bolstering gas exports which dwarf our domestic emissions?


2. Ignoring the Latest Science: A recent report in the Guardian shows that 96% of IPCC scientists assess the 1.5°C target is no longer achievable and 80% of them project that we will exceed 2.5°C of warming this century. That's during my kids lifetime! This is a dire warning that time is running out. The Government's insistence on expanding gas flies in the face of these scientific realities.


3. Economic Disservice: The strategy claims to support economic growth, yet most gas companies operating in Australia are foreign-owned and pay virtually no taxes. A detailed analysis by the Australia Institute shows that students in Australia pay more tax than gas and coal companies. Actually, the fossil fuel sector gets subsidised by over $10 billion per annum. This is a clear indicator of the economic imbalances perpetuated by this policy.


4. Over-Reliance on Unproven CCS Technology: The Government uses the wording "Net-Zero emissions by 2050" to justify continued ramping up gas projects through the use of capture and storage (CCS) technologies. But these systems that have repeatedly failed to deliver verified emissions reductions. CCS is simply a smokescreen by the fossil fuel industry to continue business as usual. "Net Zero emissions by 2050" is greenwashing and way too little and way too late.


5. Exacerbating Environmental Risks: By extending gas production beyond 2050, the policy dismisses the significant environmental and health impacts of gas. In addition to its CO2 and methane emissions, the gas industry releases hazardous pollutants such as benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde during extraction, processing, and transportation. These cause respiratory issues and cancer. Furthermore, the sector contaminates water sources, posing serious health risks to agriculture, communities and wildlife.


My article Gas Isn't Natural, its Toxic is worth a read on this.


6. Contradiction on Renewable Energy: While spuiking gas as a "safety net" for energy security, the Government misses the point that the world doesn't need gas anymore for so-called base-load power. By focusing on gas, the Government is failing to sieze the opportunity to fully capitalise on renewable energy solutions, which are not only environmentally sustainable but economically advantageous.


The "Future Gas Strategy" is a policy that, if implemented, will roast us all. It ignores climate science, worsens climate impacts, perpetuates economic inequity, contradicts domestic emissions reductions efforts and relies on dodgy technology. At a time when the world is on the brink, our Government should be batting for us, not the gas industry. It should be putting our kids and country first, not doubling down on fossil fuels.


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6 Comments


Graeme McLeay
Graeme McLeay
May 15

Correct me if I'm wrong but I did not hear Jim Chalmers mention the environment in his budget speach. The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group says "To prevent global catastrophe, governments must first admit there is a problem".

Thank you for your clear and concise "one pagers"

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Gregory Andrews
Gregory Andrews
May 15
Replying to

I didn't either Graeme. I think what worried me more was that the Environment Minister's key tweet also had no mention of the environment, only the Labor Party and cost of living relief.

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Raymond Paul
Raymond Paul
May 09

The burning of gas and coal must stop, not by or after 2050 but now.

I feel we have a bigger problem though. How many of us are prepared to live much simpler, like down size and reduce the use everything, driving, buying stuff etc by (say) 80%

If we don't, it will be forced on us all

I reckon we're in deep shit.


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Gregory Andrews
Gregory Andrews
May 09
Replying to

The time for an end to coal and gas is long overdue if we want a safe future. Thanks for sharing Raymond.


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Jeff Tombleson
Jeff Tombleson
May 09

Very well presented indeed - a nice balance of evidence-based assertiveness without lambasting senseless govt direction. (I hesitate to comment it pales against such govt non-CC mitigation action occurring on the islands to the east of your continent🙄)

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Gregory Andrews
Gregory Andrews
May 09
Replying to

Thanks Jeff. I did my best not to be too narky because I am very very cross and deeply disappointed with the Government.

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