In early November 2022, Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek agreed to reassess 18 fossil fuel projects that had previously been approved under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act. The reassessment was requested by the Environment Council of Central Queensland, represented by the law firm Environmental Justice Australia.
The Australia Institute made submissions on all 18 projects, estimating their greenhouse emissions, putting these emissions in context and adding other comments based on earlier Institute research on these projects.
In total, these projects would produce fossil fuels that would create 17.8 billion tonnes of carbon pollution. For context, world emissions in 2021 were 29.6 billion tonnes. The direct emissions from the operation of these projects combined would reach 662 million tonnes, more than all of Australia’s annual emissions.
Due to their contribution to climate change and other undesirable impacts of these projects on matters of environmental significance, we urge their refusal under the EPBC Act.