A new report by the University of Melbourne Energy Institute has found that unmeasured methane leakage and fugitive emissions from unconventional gasfields could cause Australia to fail its Paris climate commitments.
The report, commissioned by The Australia Institute, found that:
- Several major potential sources of methane emissions are assumed to be zero under Australia’s accounting and reporting of unconventional gas.
- Methane measurements at US unconventional gas fields have found leakage rates in the order of 10-25 times higher than the Australian government reports to the UNFCCC, and up to 170 times those claimed by the gas industry.
- If leakage rates comparable to those found in the US are found at Australian unconventional gas fields it will have serious implications for Australia meeting its emission reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement.