Federal Government Plans New Gas Projects Amid Climate Fears

Gas rig


The Antony Albanese government came under severe criticism for its gas strategy as it outlined investment plans to increase production and exploration of the fossil fuel “to 2050 and beyond”.

Resources Minister Madeleine King said the future strategy is based on six principles, including the fossil fuel being affordable for households, that new sources are opened up, and that it play a key role in the country’s transition to a decarbonised economy, ninenews.com.au reported.

Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of liquefied natural gas, having trade deals with countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea. The new policy will also back up “its commitment to being a reliable trading partner”. The federal government will support the existing gas projects, run by Chevron and Woodside Energy Group in Western Australia.

As the government stressed how the new investment plan would shore up to achieve its set target of delivering 82% renewable energy to the grid by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050, environment experts criticised the plan for putting the interests of fuel companies before people. They also pointed to International Energy Agency (IEA) call for “huge declines in the use of coal, oil and gas” to reach climate goals, BBC reported.

While, Australia’s 27 per cent of the energy needs is met by gas, a quarter of total emissions is caused by the fossil fuel, according to government data.

The Labor government faced backlash from its own MPs as they demanded action that facilitate transition away from fossil fuels, and not prolong their life. They said public money should not be spent on new coal or gas projects.

Business and energy bodies welcomed the new policy. “The future gas strategy provides an opportunity to reset gas policy in Australia,” Australian Energy Producers chief executive Samantha McCulloch stated.

Gas and energy stocks were among the top 10 performers today, in what could be seen as approval for the government gas and coal investment plan, ABC News reported.

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