96 Leading Australian Scientists & Experts Call for NT Fracking Ban

96 leading Australian scientists and experts have called for the Northern Territory Government to follow the science and ban unconventional gas development because of its unacceptable impact on the climate.

Signatories include many of Australia’s leading climate scientists including Professor Emeritus David Karoly, Professor Emerita Lesley Hughes and Professor Matthew England. Scientific experts also include Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, and former Australian of the year Professor Fiona Stanley.

Fracking in the Northern Territory could result in up to 1.4 billion tonnes of emissions. The letter reflects calls from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations and experts from Australia and around the world calling for an end to new fossil fuel development.

Professor Emeritus David Karoly, former Leader of the CSIRO Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub said:

“Fracking in the Beetaloo Basin will add to global warming, with impacts on all people and all environments around the world. It needs to be stopped!”

Professor Fiona Stanley, former Australian of the Year and epidemiologist said:

“In the latest UNICEF report card (No.17), Australia ranks 38/43 OECD countries for the environments it has created for its children! Nearly 40% of 15-year-old Australians do not want to have children because of their concerns about climate change. The science could not be stronger in demanding no more new fossil fuel developments. The health of our children and their children are more important than big new gas projects which have short term outcomes & will cause immediate damage.”

Professor Matthew England, UNSW Climate Change Research Centre said:

“Opening up new fossil fuel extraction projects of this scale is at odds with the government’s plan for net zero by 2050.”

Professor Emerita Lesley Hughes, Pro-Chancellor Macquarie University and former IPCC lead author said:

“The IPCC and the International Energy Agency make things very clear – to meet the Paris Agreement goals and stay well below 2oC of warming, the world simply cannot afford new fossil fuel developments. Gas development in the NT is completely incompatible with the need to ensure a safer climate for our children and grandchildren.”

Emeritus Professor John Church, former leader of the CSIRO Ocean Climate Program said:

“If we are to avoid crossing thresholds leading to many metres of sea level rise impacting many tens to hundreds of million people, we need to urgently reduce fossil fuel emissions and open no new sources of fossil fuels. The acceleration of the rate of sea level rise is strongly affected by near term emissions, including the much stronger forcing from methane emissions.”

Mark Ogge, Principal Adviser, The Australia Institute said:

“According to Reputex modelling the Beetaloo basin is a 1.4 billion tonne climate bomb and if the NT government lifts the fracking ban it will have lit the fuse. Australia’s scientists and those around the world are calling on leaders to heed their warnings and the research evidence.”

Related documents

full open letter

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