12 Feb 2021

Australia’s oil and gas industry driving moves to a lower carbon future

Climate change is one of the greatest issues facing modern society and its effects can’t be ignored. Industry and government share a collective responsibility to drive change towards a lower carbon future.  

The discussion around climate change is continuously evolving, and industry evolving with it.  

APPEA members representing the majority of Australia’s advanced upstream oil and gas industry have expressed support for climate change policies that work to protect the environment and the economy, and many have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in keeping with the aims of the 2016 Paris Agreement. 

Natural gas is a lower emissions fuel that can help drive society towards a lower carbon future. It complements the growth of intermittent renewables such as wind and solar by providing baseload power to meet energy demand. The growth of the Australian natural gas sector is also integral to lowering emissions both domestically and overseas through the LNG export market, as it can displace up to half of the emissions generated by coal. 

The Australian oil and gas industry has also invested considerable research and development into clean energy and emissions abatement technologies that can also combat climate change. This includes the development of ‘blue’ hydrogen through steam methane reformation, and carbon capture and storage systems capable of sequestering rogue CO2 emissions. 

In recognition of these aims and broader support of government policy, APPEA has revised its climate change principles as the industry grows into the next decade and beyond. This revised policy is founded in a set of principles that seek to provide greater clarity around the industry’s efforts to move towards a cleaner energy future.  

This includes the acknowledgment that achieving net zero emission by 2050 should be a goal of national and international policy as governments around the world seek to reduce the rise in global temperature to less than two degrees Celsius (preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius).  

The new principles also state that climate policies should be integrated with economic, social, technology and energy policies, and that Australia’s international competitiveness should be maintained. In addition, the policies stress that the world must seek to achieve universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy. This is in keeping with the global needs of an increasing (and increasingly urbanised) population. 

These policy revisions will help to clarify the Australian oil and gas industry’s position on the important issue of climate change as it seeks to contribute to the global effort to reduce emissions. 

The full list of principles, titled Australia’s Cleaner Energy Future, can be read here.