Environmentalists warn against gas boost

The government wants to use gas projects to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The government wants to use gas projects to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Environmentalists are warning the federal government against focusing on gas in the coronavirus recovery, saying the industry is already responsible for a significant share of emissions.

The government wants to use gas projects to help the economy recover from the pandemic, arguing it's the right fuel to help with the transition from coal.

Liquefied natural gas drove a three per cent increase in emissions from exports last year, but the government argues it's helping other countries reduce their pollution.

The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a new report focusing on emissions from gas projects and gas-fired industrial facilities.

They emitted about 81 million tonnes of pollution in 2018 to 2019.

ACF climate campaigner Suzanne Harter says calling gas a transition fuel is "downright dangerous" as temperatures rise from climate change.

"Existing gas projects and facilities are responsible for around 49 per cent as much climate pollution as Australia's coal-fired power stations produce annually," she said on Tuesday.

"New gas projects would lock in decades more climate pollution and risk becoming stranded assets as the world continues moving to clean energy."

The annual emissions from Chevron's Gorgon gas project are higher than annual emissions at AGL's Liddell coal-fired power station.

Emissions from Woodside's North West Shelf gas project are worse than Delta Electricity's Vales Point coal-fired power station.

ACF's analysis of gas doesn't include emissions from gas-fired power stations, mining operations and household gas use.

Australian Associated Press