New data shows natural gas is now biggest contributor to global emissions growth
Increases in oil and gas use have taken over from coal as the main driver of rising global carbon emissions this year according to new international data released this week.
The Global Carbon Project (GCP) analysis shows that despite a decline in global coal consumption, increasing natural gas processing use was the biggest contributor to growth in global emissions in 2019, triggering a 0.6% emissions increase globally in 2019.
While natural gas has replaced some coal burning in Europe and the USA, the data shows that Australian gas exports are instead competing with renewable energy to fill new energy demand in Asian markets.
Clean State spokesperson Maggie Wood said the data was sobering for Western Australia and provided yet more evidence of the urgent need get WA’s rapidly rising gas pollution under control.
“What this data shows clearly is that WA LNG exports are not helping reduce global emissions as claimed – instead our exports have seen LNG take over from coal as the biggest contributor to growth in global emissions.” said Ms Wood.
“The claim that Australian gas is good for the climate is dangerously misleading and this pretense must be abandoned so that we can start contributing real solutions which will benefit Western Australia and the rest of the world.
“Gas production has a massive emissions footprint as we are seeing here in WA. We also know that LNG releases enormous amounts of methane into the atmosphere – a greenhouse gas that is far more potent than CO2. The amount of methane released negates any advantage LNG has over coal.
“Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 globally is essential to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. Research shows that even if global coal use was eliminated overnight, burning the oil and gas reserves already being exploited will take the world past 1.5 degrees.
“Delays in reducing our state emissions are already hurting WA’s economy. Last month, Sweden’s central banks dumped Australian bonds in WA and QLD due to fossil fuel exposure.
“This latest global emission data provides a strong signal to the WA Government that addressing pollution from the oil and gas industry must be a priority.”
The good news is that such action has the potential to kick-start new industries and generate thousands of new jobs for Western Australians.
“Analysis by Reputex Energy shows that if gas companies were required to invest just a few per cent of their massive annual profits in climate solutions like tree planting, renewable energy and land management, around 4,000 new jobs would be created, mostly in regional WA.
“This is a win-win for WA. Over 80% of West Australian’s support action to require WA’s big polluters to offset the damage their pollution is doing to the climate.”