18 May 2021: the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest report represents a major wake-up call for the Australian Government and financial institutions on gas, according to climate action group 350 Australia. The report calls for no new oil, coal and gas from 2021 onwards to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
The IEA report Net Zero by 2050: A roadmap for the Global Energy Sector states “there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathway” and that beyond projects already committed to development in 2021 there are no new oil and gas fields in the pathway to net zero.
350 Australia CEO Lucy Manne says: “The IEA has confirmed what the scientific community has been telling us for years: gas projects, like all fossil fuel projects, are dirty and incompatible with a safe climate. Banks and politicians who’ve committed to climate action have nowhere to hide, and they need to rule out funding new gas projects, as well as any new oil and coal.
“This report comes just a week after the Morrison Government confirmed $550million in funding for gas in the Federal Budget, on top of $10 billion in existing fossil fuel subsidies. Our Government is completely out of step with the scientific and technical reality.
“It’s also time for financial institutions to catch up. The big four banks have commitments to net zero by 2050, but woefully inadequate policies and when it comes to lending to fossil fuels – especially gas.
“NAB is currently updating its oil and gas lending policy, and has the opportunity to rule out bankrolling any new projects.
“As a major exporter of coal and gas, this is the latest warning sign that demand for these polluting projects will plummet. With so many of our major export partners committed to net zero by 2050, it’s time for our financial institutions and Government to see the writing on the wall, and accelerate investment in clean energy.
“Australians could be left footing the bill for stranded assets from projects in the Beetaloo Basin in the NT, the Bowen Basin in Queensland and a slew of big oil and gas projects off the WA coast.
“New gas projects are damaging to the climate and local environment and fiercely opposed by Traditional Owners and local communities. It’s also important to remember that net zero by 2050 is not ambitious enough as a target – the science tells us that the critical decade to act is now, and we should be aiming to rapidly reduce emissions by 2030. There is just no room for new gas, coal, or oil projects in Australia.”