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Northern direction: If NSW had the Queensland coal royalty system
If NSW had adopted Queensland’s progressive coal royalty system in 2021-22 it would have raised an additional $2.8 billion. For 2022-23 this figure is estimated at between $4.2 billion and $6.2 billion.
Polling: New Gas & Coal, Offsets
Polling across 5 federal electorates reveals a majority of voters support a ban on new gas and coal projects, and very few support unlimited carbon offsets to expand fossil fuels. uComms were commissioned on behalf of the Australia Institute to poll in the seats of Mackellar, Goldstein, Sydney, Bennelong and Moreton between 9-14 of March
New fossil fuel projects in Australia 2023
There are 116 new fossil fuel projects on the Federal Government’s annual Resource & Energy Major Project list, two more than at the end of 2021. If all proceed as estimated, they will add 4.8 billion tonnes of emissions to the atmosphere by 2030.
Polling – Carbon Offsets, New Fossil Fuels, Role of the Senate
Key Findings: 82% of Canberrans believe polluting projects should not be able to offset 100% of their emissions via carbon offsets, only 9% believe in 100% carbon offsets for projects Of those, 56% believe polluting projects should have to directly reduce their emissions, not use carbon offsets And 26% believe projects should be able to
From Russia with love
Australian coal export revenue increased by $73b, or 186% in 2021-22. Between $21b and $39b of this is directly attributable to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Submissions on reconsideration of fossil fuel projects under the EPBC Act
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.
Trade with no cap
The Australia Institute made a submission on draft legislation that would establish a new kind of carbon credit in Australia. The proposed Safeguard Mechanism legislation fails to clarify how new entrants will be managed and does not address integrity and additionality concerns around offsetting units.
Polling – Gas Industry Intervention
In November, The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their views on possible government interventions in the gas industry. The results show strong support for the government to intervene in the gas industry, either by imposing export controls on gas exporters if they do not meet local demand, or by
War gains: LNG Windfall Profits 2022
Energy prices spiked worldwide following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting restrictions on Russia’s gas exports. This has in turn increased the value of Australian LNG exports and the profits of LNG companies. We estimate the war related windfall gain to LNG companies in 2021-22 at between $26 billion and $40 billion.
Australia has become an outlier in the global light vehicle market, with a comparatively inefficient and anachronistic vehicle fleet. In 2018, the average carbon dioxide (CO2) intensity for new passenger vehicles in Australia was 169.8gCO2/km compared to 129.9gCO2/km in the United States, 120.4gCO2/km in Europe and 114.6gCO2/km in Japan.
Foreign investment in Australia
New research reveals the companies profiting from the $62.5 billion LNG industry exporting Australian gas – a key driver of shock domestic gas prices for households and business – are on average 95.7% foreign owned. The research also reveals that the top 20 ASX listed companies in Australia are, on average, 80% foreign owned, with US ownership alone almost triple Australian
Polling – What is ‘clean hydrogen’?
The government defines ‘clean hydrogen’ as “hydrogen produced using renewable energy or using fossil fuels with substantial carbon capture and storage.”
APPEA members who pay no income tax
Five of Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association’s (APPEA) most prominent member companies have paid no income tax for at least the past seven years despite combined income from their Australian operations of $138 billion. A sixth company, Santos, paid just $6 million on $28.9 billion of income, and paid no income tax from 2015
Over a Barrel
Australia is precariously dependent on imported fuel. Demand-side solutions, particularly electrifying transport, should be adopted to improve Australia’s fuel security and increase energy independence.
Submission: Cost recovery framework for the Northern Territory onshore petroleum industry
The Australia Institute made a submission to the consultation process regarding Recommendation 14.1 of the NT Fracking Inquiry, “That prior to the granting of any further production approvals, the Government designs and implements a full cost-recovery system for the regulation of any onshore shale gas industry.”
Submission on Darwin Pipeline Duplication
The Australia Institute made a submission on Santos’ proposed Darwin Pipeline Duplication project that aims to facilitate carbon capture and storage in the oil and gas fields north of Darwin. Aside from the low likelihood of successful carbon capture and storage eventuating, the aim of the project appears to be to increase gas exports through
Investors in mining are backing electrification resources over fossil fuels. In the year to October 2021, just one fossil fuel company listed on the ASX, while 42 companies listed that target electrification minerals copper, nickel, lithium cobalt, graphite and rare earths. Over half the companies aim to mine in Western Australia, with another seven headquartered
Santos’ CCS scam
Santos is trying to access Australia’s small amount of climate funding to subsidise increased fossil fuel extraction through a highly polluting activity known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) – a process Santos has been using continuously since the mid-1980s. Numerous company documents show that Santos’ Moomba CCS project includes EOR and Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR).
Offshore oil and gas decommissioning levy
The offshore oil and gas industry provides minimal economic benefit to the Australian community. Any benefits are eroded by decommissioning costs falling on governments as the industry attempts to avoid its liabilities. The proposed levy represents an opportunity to limit the costs to the public from the Northern Endeavour disaster, further measures are needed to protect the public interest.
National Energy Emissions Audit Report: October 2021
All the net reduction in national emissions between 2005 and 2020 were contributed by the land sector. Emissions from energy combustion, which in 2020 accounted for 72% of total emissions, were 2.0% higher than in 2005. Total energy emissions to the end of August 2021, as estimated by NEEA, again increased, as growing consumption of
Submission: Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations. The Australia Institute is an independent public policy think tank, based in Canberra. We carry out research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues. Two recent research papers by
Offsetting us up for failure
The draft offsets policy undermines the NT Government policy of adopting Fracking Inquiry Recommendation 9.8 – that all life-cycle emissions from onshore gas projects be offset. The draft policy also proposes ‘indirect emissions offsets’ that are not utilised in any other jurisdiction and would be entirely without integrity. Indirect offsets would undermine other offset markets
Climate of the Nation 2021
Climate of the Nation is the longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change in the country.
We can work it out: Lessons from Germany’s Coal Commission
Like Australia, Germany has had a long and polarised debate about phasing out coal-fired power stations. Germany formed a multi-stakeholder group that negotiated a consensus to phase out coal power by 2038. A similar process could help Australia navigate the trade-offs inherent in such a change.
National Energy Emissions Audit: September 2021
Welcome to the August 2021 issue of the NEEA Report, and apologies for the long delay since the last issue. Because it is nearly five months since our last issue, this new issue starts with an update in the NEEA estimate of changes in Australia’s total energy combustion emissions up to the end of June
Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into Australia’s oil and gas reserves: Submission 2
The Senate Economics References Committee is conducting an inquiry into Australia’s oil and gas reserves. The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a second submission to this inquiry highlighting recent research on Australia’s oil and gas that relate to the inquiry’s terms of reference published since the original submission. As such it should be
Back of the Pack
The Australian Government claims that Australia is leading the world in achieving climate targets and transitioning to renewable energy. New analysis finds Australia’s energy emissions continue to rise, while productivity and decarbonisation rankings fall. Since 2005 Australia has maintained, if not slipped further behind, its OECD counterparts when it comes to the energy transition.
Subsidising fracking in the Beetaloo Basin
Unconventional gas in the Northern Territory is unpopular and uneconomic, risking water resources, the climate and taxpayer funds. It provides little revenue and very few jobs. Government-commissioned studies show this is unlikely to change under modelled production scenarios. The recommendations of the Territory’s fracking inquiry are not being met, particularly information programs for Aboriginal people
Regulatory carbon capture
Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund will soon incorporate carbon capture and storage projects. The design and development of the CCS ERF method lacks integrity and independence. The proposed method will allow industry to sidestep regulation, enable new gas and oil projects to exist where they otherwise would not have, and result in more emissions being emitted
One tonne of jobs and growth
Budget incentives to increase investment are expensive, poorly targeted and will do little to improve productivity