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CSIRO confirms LNG increases pollution; finds no evidence to support gas industry claims

A new CSIRO report is being wrongly used to support industry claims that gas production helps the climate, despite the report failing to find any evidence to support the claims, according to conservation groups.

The gas industry lobby group APPEA has seized upon the industry-funded report, however the report clearly states that the industry’s claims about gas replacing coal “cannot be calculated” because “we do not know the proportion of gas used to displace what would have been produced from coal”.

The report does show that turning gas into LNG significantly increases the overall pollution from gas use, given the additional emissions resulting from compressing, processing, and transporting LNG.

The report also presents hypothetical figures comparing gas emissions to pollution from coal used in Queensland, despite no evidence to demonstrate gas use is replacing coal in the energy mix.   

Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) Director Piers Verstegen said that the gas industry was deliberately misrepresenting the results of the CSIRO report in order to support a dangerous and dishonest sales pitch.

“The idea that we can save the climate by burning gas is a dangerous myth, and there is nothing in this CSIRO report that suggests otherwise.

“The world’s most credible authority on climate change, the IPCC, has said that global gas use must decline not increase, in order to meet global emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement.”

A major international review released earlier this year found that global LNG expansion presents a threat to the climate that is as big, or bigger than coal expansion, with its authors calling for a global moratorium on LNG expansion.

Mr Verstegen said, “The gas industry claims are based on a fantasy that gas is only and always used to replace coal in the energy mix, however this cannot be verified because it is not true. 

“The gas industry can continue repeating this lie, but the CSIRO report should not be used to support a dangerous and dishonest sales pitch for a polluting industry.

“Despite the gas industry funding this report and its reliance on industry-supplied data, the report has presented no evidence to support the fanciful claims that we hear from the fossil fuel industry.

“Using this CSIRO report to support baseless and unsubstantiated claims is a serious misrepresentation of data, which simply undermines trust in the gas industry and the CSIRO.

“The reality is that gas is used in all sorts of ways that do not replace coal, and in many applications is directly competing with renewable energy. Gas use simply adds to the pollution problem that requires urgent global attention. Just like coal, gas needs to be urgently phased out, not expanded.”

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