The federal government is demonstrating why it lacks climate credibility by opening up 80,000 square kilometres of new offshore acreage — an area larger than Tasmania and ACT combined — to gas exploration, says the Climate Council.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks a big game about Australia’s efforts to curb climate change on the world stage, meanwhile back at home the Morrison government is inviting fossil fuel companies to exploit new gas fields and wasting taxpayer money on polluting energy sources,” said Climate Council acting CEO Dr Martin Rice.
“The world sees through our climate-wrecking hypocrisy and is losing patience with Australia, and it is Australian workers and businesses who will wear the consequences, such as carbon tariffs from G7 economies,” he added.
“The decision to open up new oil and gas exploration, at a time when energy experts, investors, and our strategic allies are all moving away from fossil fuels, goes against all scientific and economic reason,” said Dr Rice.
“Gas drives up electricity prices. Gas is a fossil fuel that worsens climate change. As our trading partners shift away from fossil fuels like coal, our fossil-fuelled economy is becoming increasingly exposed, and vulnerable,” said Dr Rice.
“The science is clear: we need to rapidly reduce emissions this decade, and no new coal, oil, and gas projects are compatible with protecting Australians, our economy and unique ecosystems from worsening climate impacts,” said Dr Rice.
The Climate Council recommends Australia cut its emissions by 75% by 2030 (based on 2005 levels), and reach net zero by 2035.
“By choosing to ignore the experts and passing measure after measure that actively worsens climate change, the Federal Government is exposing Australians to growing economic, diplomatic and climate risks,” said Dr Rice.
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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.
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