Net Zero Emissions by 2050 a Fraud Without Transition from Fossil Fuels

A television advertisement which will begin airing nationally from Monday shows that without addressing the rapid expansion of gas and coal, any Net Zero by 2050 target is a fraud.

Building on research showing a lack of evidence that the Federal Government is serious about emissions reduction, the advertisement identifies that while the Government plots to double coal exports, open vast new gas fields and prop up coal generated power, any Net Zero by 2050 plan is a fraud if gas and coal are allowed to expand.

Key Federal Government decisions at odds with any Net Zero by 2050 target include:

  • Federal Environment Minister has approved a third new coal project, Mangoola Coal, in just one month
  • The Federal Government is opening up new gas fields that will all contribute significantly to Australia’s emissions profile, with proposed gas projects in Australia having an emissions profile of 329 million tonnes CO2e per annum – two-thirds of Australia’s annual emissions
    • Shale gas development in the Northern Territory alone could result in 100 million tonnes of emissions annually (counting scope 3 emissions) and just in Australia increase emissions by 40 million tonnes, which would increase Australia’s annual emissions by 8%
    • Woodside’s Scarborough Gas Field is equivalent to 15 new coal power plants and 1.6 billion tonnes of emissions (counting scope 3 emissons)
  • The Federal Government plans for new gas resources which have an emissions profile equivalent to more than 40 new coal mines
  • Federal Government pushing ahead with a proposal to subsidise coal fired electricity generation to keep it operating after it is no longer profitable
  • Hydrogen funding under Australian Government policies includes fossil hydrogen with CCS known as ‘blue hydrogen’ and is even more polluting than burning the fossil fuel directly
  • Australian Government has broadened the remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency so that it can fund CCS projects and intends to do the same with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation

“Actions speak louder than words. While the Prime Minister is poised to announce a net zero by 2050 target, we can see from this Government’s actions that it has little intention of meeting such a target, let alone beating it,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy program director at the Australia Institute.

“This Government is infamous for its announcements that lack meaningful follow-through. When it comes to any net zero target, the PM should be judged by his deeds not his words.

“Just this week the Nationals are attempting to hold the country ransom for $250 billion dollars, to be redirected to coal multinationals, since banks and insurers have made the smart and sustainable move away from coal projects.

“Without putting an end to new gas exploration and new coal mines, and a transition plan to power our nation with renewable energy, any purported net zero by 2050 target is a fraud.”

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