50 experts call for WA fracking ban: open letter

Over 50 scientists and experts, including former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley AC, Carmen Lawrence, former Premier of WA, Professor Peter Newman AO, WA’s 2018 Scientist of the Year, and Ian Dunlop, former Chairman of the Australian Coal Association and Shell executive, are urging the Western Australian Government to permanently ban fracking in the state. 

The call comes in an open letter ahead of the release of the final report by the Western Australia Independent Scientific Panel Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation. 

The group also includes Australia’s leading climate scientists Professor Graeme Pearman, Professory Andy Pitman, Professor John Church, Professor Will Steffen, Professor Katrin Missner and Professor Steven Sherwood. 

The group has offered to brief the Western Australian Government’s Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing which consists of five scientists, none of whom are climate scientists. 

“This enormously authorative group has come together to call for a permanent ban on onconventional oil and gas in WA,” said The Australia Institute’s Mark Ogge. 

“Western Australia is already facing severe drying in its most productive and populated areas due to global warming, increasing fire seasons and heatwaves, says Professor Graeme Pearman, leading climate scientist and former head of the CSIRO Atmospheric Research team. 

“Within our children’s lifetime, we are facing potential temperature rises of up to 6.5 degrees, with largely irreversible impacts on water supply, coastal flooding, crop and grazing production, human health and biodiversity.” 

“Exploiting Western Australia’s unconventional gas resources would pose a threat to the world achieving the Paris Agreement goals, and make it impossible for Australia to meet its emission reduction target” says Dr. Bill Hare, founder and CEO of Climate Analytics. 

“The science also shows that none of this fracking – neither in the Canning Basin or anywhere else – is needed.” 

“Allowing fracking in Western Australia would not only be disastrous for the worlds climate, but drive up Western Australia’s domestic gas prices to above global parity prices, exactly as it has done on in the eastern states,” says Bruce Robertson, financial and energy anlalyst at the Institute for Financial and Energy Analysis (IEEFA).

Full open letter can be viewed and downloaded here.

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