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Federal minister’s ‘gas - poverty’ claims challenged by WA peak body

WA’s peak environmental body has disputed claims by the Federal Resources Minister that Australian gas exports can ‘lift millions out of energy poverty’.

Madeleine King was speaking at the Resources Technology Showcase in Perth on Tuesday morning when she told delegates that “Australian gas has the potential to lift millions out of energy poverty”. 

The Minister said that countries such as India would need gas so that ‘families in rural areas can access a clean cooking fuel’.

Methane - also known as 'natural gas' or simply gas - is both a greenhouse gas and a fossil fuel sold as 'LNG' by companies like Woodside and Chevron. Like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane is directly responsible for increasing global temperatures by trapping heat in the atmosphere and is over 80 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period.

Methane also produces CO2 when burned, particularly in the case of LNG which is exported in huge quantities from facilities here in WA.

Claims that exporting gas to Asia helps those countries to decarbonise by displacing coal have been widely debunked, including in a report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Anna Chapman, Fossil Fuels Program Manager at the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA), said: “The only thing that more Australian gas exports will achieve is delaying the uptake of clean, green, renewable energy in the region.

“Gas projects are increasing emissions and causing even more damage to our climate. Australia should not be offloading fossil fuels on its neighbours when we could be leading the way on renewable energy. Gas exports are holding developing countries back from developing renewable solutions.

“The global scientific community is unequivocal in its stance that the world should rapidly phase out fossil fuels, including gas, and increase the uptake of renewable solutions. We should be helping our regional neighbours to achieve that goal, not holding them back.”


MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia. 

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CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies

08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]

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