NT Fracking Worse Than All Australian Coal Power Stations Combined


New Australia Institute analysis shows NT fracking emissions under the NT Government’s own Fracking Inquiry’s high production scenario would be worse than the emissions of Australia’s coal fleet across the National Energy Market (NEM) in 2030, and require more offsets each year than have ever been issued in Australia to date.

Key findings:

  • Government documents released under FOI show annual emissions from fracking for gas in the NT could be as large as 22% of Australia’s current annual emissions
  • This would be more carbon emissions than from all coal power stations expected to then be running in the NEM
  • The analysis also shows that the offsets required to offset NT fracking lifecycle emissions under the larger production scenario would be larger each year than all Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) ever issued by the Australian Government (74 MtCO2e)
  • This follows previous analysis that found offsetting just the emissions produced in Australia would cost billions of dollars to offset every year. The NT Government has committed to offsetting all offsets.
  • The Australia Institute has called on the NT Government to confirm it will keep its commitment to properly implement the Fracking Inquiry’s recommendation that fracking can only go ahead if all fracking emissions are offset. This includes using credited Australian Government offsets, Accredited Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).

“If fracking goes ahead in the NT it will simply be throwing further fuel on the fire of global warming that is already driving dangerous climate change including increasing in extreme heat in the Territory,” said Tom Swann, senior researcher at the Australia Institute.

“Darwin is projected to have up to around 300 days per year over 35 degrees under a high emissions scenario within the lifetime of today’s Territorians. If this eventuates it would be catastrophic for tourism and agriculture and make large swathes of the Territory essentially uninhabitable.

“The cost of offsetting the NT fracking emissions under these scenarios would be massive because the amount of heat-trapping gas it would pump into the atmosphere is massive.

“This is why the Government’s own Fracking Inquiry found potential fracking emissions “unacceptable,” and why many of Australia’s leading scientists have called for a permanent ban on fracking in the NT.”

The new report, ‘All It’s Fracked Up To Be’ by Tom Swann, senior researcher at the Australia Institute, can be downloaded here.

Related research