The Australian Government (Department of Industry) has invited public submissions regarding its “vision for a gas-fired recovery from COVID-19”.
Australian Parents for Climate Action do no support a gas-fired recovery (read why below!).
We strongly encourage our supporters to make a submission against a gas-fired recovery.
Submissions must be provided by Wednesday 31 March 2021. (This has been extended from the previous deadline of February 26 2021.)
How to make a submission:
Make a submission here: https://consult.industry.gov.au/energy/gas-fired-recovery-plan/, then click the “Make a Submission” link.
You will be asked your name, email, organisation (optional - please do not write you are from Australian Parents for Climate Action as we are making a seperate submission), state, industry sector (select private individual or whatever is relevant to you). You can then either upload a document, or make a general comment in a text box. Click continue, check the details and Submit.
Suggested content for your submission:
MAKE IT PERSONAL:
+ Introduce yourself — as a parent, where you live and anything else you want to mention.
STATE WHAT YOU ARE ASKING FOR:
! Gas is a fossil fuel that needs to be phased out along with coal and oil. Investing in gas will not create the sustainable future I want for my family.
+ I want the Australian government to invest in more renewable energy, not gas.
MAKE IT FACTUAL:
! Australia (and the world) needs to reach zero net greenhouse emissions as soon as possible - ideally by 2030 - to have any chance of maintaining a safe climate for our children. Increasing the supply of fossil fuels will increase emissions and should not be contemplated, much less supported using taxpayer funds.
! “Natural gas” is methane, a fossil fuel and greenhouse gas that is at least as bad as coal in terms of its impact on global heating when used for electricity generation, due to the combined impacts of its combustion (which releases carbon dioxide) and system-wide leaks and venting of methane (which is 86 times more harmful than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period.
! Gas is bad for our health when used in homes. Its consumption in poorly maintained or unflued appliances releases pollutants including deadly carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides, which can exacerbate respiratory conditions including childhood asthma.
! Gas is bad for the environment. Forests are cleared for access roads and well heads. Gas extraction processes can contaminate and deplete ground water, streams and soils. This is particularly true when it comes to the extraction of “unconventional gas” (coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas), which may involve fracking.
! Fracking is risky and irreversible. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of forcing huge quantities of sand-bearing water, loaded with chemicals, deep underground to create cracks that allow gas to flow and be extracted more easily.
! The environmental impact of gas is significantly understated due to industry measurement practices that are poorly overseen by government regulators.
! More gas won’t lower domestic gas prices. Australia is already the number one exporter of gas in the world and is awash with gas. However, Australians are paying more for their own gas than international prices for the gas we export due to ineffective regulation of domestic supply. Proposed new gas basins and wells would use unconventional gas extraction methods, which are more expensive than existing conventional wells such as Bass Strait.
! We don’t need more gas to compensate for the intermittency of renewable electricity. The Australian Energy Market Operator is satisfied that renewables can become a majority source of electricity generation without any new gas power plants. Renewable generation with storage is generally cheaper than gas or coal plants.
! Investment in the gas industry creates very few jobs. A green recovery from COVID-19 based on renewables, energy efficiency, green hydrogen and other measures to achieve net zero emissions will generate far more jobs and enormous co benefits compared with the risks and costs of more investment in fossil gas.
SAY WHAT YOU PROPOSE INSTEAD:
Numerous studies in Australia and other countries have demonstrated that a green recovery is the best way governments can stimulate the economic recovery from COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands of jobs can be created in Australia by incentivising projects such as:
+ Rolling out 100% renewable electricity and storage as quickly as possible by expanding Renewable Energy Zones and ensuring transmission and energy market regulation is appropriately aligned.
+ Putting solar and batteries into all schools and child care centres.
+ Improving energy efficiency in buildings including social housing.
+ Converting gas appliances in buildings to electric.
+ Kick starting the market and distribution mechanisms for green hydrogen (produced via electrolysis from renewable electricity) in order to rapidly drive its cost down so it is competitive with fossil gas.
+ Accelerating the uptake of electric and hydrogen vehicles (such as by reducing registration and other on-road costs).
+ Helping industrial users of gas pilot and rollout alternatives (either electric or green hydrogen based).
PROVIDE A LINK TO ONE OR MORE OF THESE REPORTS:
+ The Beyond Zero Emissions Million Jobs Plan (https://bze.org.au/research_release/million-jobs-plan/)
+ The World Wildlife Fund / EY report: Securing Australia’s Future: Renewable Recovery From COVID-19 (https://www.wwf.org.au/what-we-do/climate/renewables/renewable-export-covid-19-recovery-package)
+ This Guardian Australia series on the Green Recovery (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/series/the-green-recovery)
+ For a more global view, this Goldman Sachs report (https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/pages/gs-research/carbonomics-green-engine-of-economic-recovery-f/report.pdf)
+ Scaling up Climate Action in Australia, a report from Climate Action Tracker, Nov 2020: “Australia can decarbonise its energy system by 2050 by scaling up climate action in its electricity supply and energy end use sectors, creating up to 76,000 additional jobs in the renewables sector alone.” https://climateanalytics.org/publications/2020/scaling-up-climate-action-in-australia/
+ The Beyond Zero Emissions Electrifying Industry plan – “Manufacturers can replace fossil fuels with renewable electricity and eliminate up to 8% of Australian emissions” https://bze.org.au/research_release/electrifying-industry/
+ Decarbonisation Futures: Solutions, Actions and Benchmarks for a net zero emissions Australia, “ClimateWorks’ seminal report shows how technologies in each sector can achieve climate goals in Australia when rebuilding the economy to be resilient for the future” March 2020 https://www.climateworksaustralia.org/resource/decarbonisation-futures-solutions-actions-and-benchmarks-for-a-net-zero-emissions-australia/