Australia and USA at odds over gas approach

29.01.24 By

As United States President Joe Biden slams the brakes on new American gas exports, projects which have been labelled ‘carbon mega bombs’, Federal Resources Minister Madeline King has jumped the gun on basic environmental approvals in her haste to promise sending more Australian gas overseas.  

Minister King has been quoted as assuring Japan and South Korea that more gas is on the way from massively polluting proposed projects like Scarborough and Barossa. However, neither of these massively polluting projects have been fully assessed for their environment, climate and First Nations impact.       

Dr Jennifer Rayner, Head of Advocacy at the Climate Council, said:

“Spruiking new gas projects before they’ve been fully approved is neither good government or proper process – two things the Albanese Government says it prides itself on. Both Scarborough and Barossa are still undergoing a range of environmental approval processes, not to mention outstanding legal challenges.

“Is Minister King committing the government to usher these two climate-wrecking projects through? Her comments sound like the ‘captain’s calls’ of the past, and steamroll concerns over climate, environment or First Nations perspectives.

“Rather than spruiking these polluting gas projects, Minister King could fly the flag for Australia’s growing critical minerals sector and our world-leading renewable energy potential. Both Japan and Australia are among nearly 200 countries who promised to accelerate the switch away from fossil fuels as part of international negotiations. This involves using far less gas over time as clean, affordable renewable energy picks up the load. 

“The Resources Minister’s full-throated support for these new gas projects comes as United States’ President Biden has paused a bunch of mega gas projects in the US to allow for a new assessment process that will address the climate impacts of more gas. The contrast couldn’t be more stark. 

“All new fossil fuel projects in Australia should be assessed under a stronger national environment law that has climate at its heart. Carbon bombs like Scarborough and Barossa should not be ushered through under the cover of our existing weak laws, and treated like a done deal in a rush to get more gas out the door.”      

To arrange interviews with Dr Jennifer Rayner, please contact Lydia Hollister-Jones on 0448 043 015, or Dylan Quinnell at the Climate Media Centre on 0450 668 350.

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