Victorian Government ignores up to 88% of true emissions from new onshore gas

Analysis by The Australia Institute shows that Victorian Government’s key report used to approve onshore gas mining appears to have underestimated the greenhouse gas emissions from new sites by up to 88%.

The Victorian Gas Program Progress Report no.4 does not count emissions from the ultimate combustion of the gas, emissions from methane leakage or the lifecycle emissions from gas processing. Methane is a very potent greenhouse warming gas, and small amounts of leakage can have a large impact on overall emissions.

The actual greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of the gas that the report itself says would be produced (830 Petajoules over 26 years), is around 7 times larger than the maximum emissions given in the report’s high scenario.

It appears the Victorian Gas Program may have simply ignored combustion emissions which are by far the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from gas.

“The Victorian Government needs to explain why the advice it used to lift the ban on more gas extraction so badly underestimated the impact this would have on the climate,” says Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director The Australia Institute.

“Gas is not a transitional fuel in the fight against climate change, it is part of the problem and it is highly concerning that greenhouse gas emissions from gas could be up to 7 times larger than what is admitted in the Victorian Government’s analysis.”

“In the cover of the pandemic, the Victorian Government has still found the opportunity to green-light new fossil fuel mining based on misleading research. At the same time, it has put off setting the ambitious emissions targets the state needs to guide recovery.”

“Given Victoria has just been devastated by climate change fuelled fires, it is extraordinary that the Government is opening up a large new source of fossil fuel.  When it comes to gas, the Victorian Government has its priorities around the wrong way.”

The report by Mark Ogge and Tom Swann, Emissions from Onshore Gas in Victoria, is available here

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