26 Oct 2021

Opinion editorial: Let’s work together to achieve net zero

Note: This article originally appeared in The Advertiser on Monday 25 October 2021.

Let’s be clear. The Australian oil and gas industry wants a future that has cleaner energy.

And we want to help Australia get there. We support the science of climate change and are committed to practical actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

We also stand with about 200 countries that have joined the Paris climate agreement and have adopted emissions reduction targets. Of those, more than 130 have committed to net-zero emissions by 2050.

We believe we have a key role to play in a cleaner-energy future, both in Australia and globally. And it starts with gas.

Natural gas supplies more than 25 per cent of Australia’s energy. It is providing half of Australians’ household energy but is only responsible for 13 per cent of household emissions. It is also playing an important role in providing lower emissions and cleaner-burning fuel in the industrialisation of Asian economies. The federal government estimates Australia’s liquefied natural gas has the potential to lower emissions in LNG-importing countries by offering an alternative to higher-emissions fuels.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association also has an action plan, including exciting technology developments. The CSIRO has found climate benefits are possible where natural gas has replaced coal, particularly in developing countries.

Australia’s substantial resources in natural gas, and its proximity to Asia, enable it to continue to deliver cleaner energy to the Asia-Pacific region.

The Australian oil and gas industry works here and around the world developing low-emission technologies, while natural gas is working alongside renewables for cleaner energy. Two examples are carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen.

Globally, the International Energy Agency believe about 40 per cent of the world’s hydrogen needs could come from gas by 2050. Australia, with its natural gas, existing infrastructure and technical expertise, has a competitive advantage.

Australia’s oil-and-gas infrastructure can be used to help in hydrogen production and transportation. Hydrogen exports can become a reality.

Courtesy of Australia’s LNG export success, we have the technology, expertise, commercial and trade relationships to make it happen.

By developing a local hydrogen industry, we can lower emissions both in Australia and internationally, reduce energy costs and deliver energy security. It can also provide job and manufacturing opportunities.

That’s why we think, when it comes to climate change policy, we should all work together with policies including energy, international trade, taxation, economic growth, population, and environmental and social responsibility.

Australia should always be willing to engage with the international community so we can achieve environmentally effective and economically efficient climate change policies that benefit all Australians.