Climate pressure on gas sector is ramping up, Santos boss warns #ClimateCrisis demand #ClimateAction #SDG13 #SDG7 #auspol #qldpol #FundOurFutureNotGas #TellTheTruth #COP26 Join the #RaceToZero

Australian gas giant Santos has acknowledged the world wants to see a faster transition away from fossil fuels amid historic climate pressure.

By Nick Toscano and Peter de Kruijff

Santos, one of the nation’s largest gas producers, has acknowledged the world wants to see a faster transition away from fossil fuels amid historic climate pressure engulfing global energy giants and rising pushback against new gas fields off the coast of Australia.

On the eve of a major industry conference in Perth this week, Santos managing director Kevin Gallagher said oil and gas have probably been the “single biggest boost to living standards in the history of humankind”.

But concerns about climate change have intensified in the past year, he said, and equity investors had “turned off the taps”.

“Whatever the reason, there is no doubt the world wants a faster energy transition and many people see that as a world without fossil fuels,” Mr Gallagher said.

Globally, the world’s biggest oil and gas producers are under increasing pressure to act on climate change, with leading energy analysts openly questioning whether the sector is facing a “watershed” moment.

First, the International Energy Agency released a landmark report warning against investing in new oil and gas fields if the world is to achieve the Paris climate agreement’s aspirational target of limiting global temperatures to 1.5 degrees.

Then, in a landmark ruling, a Dutch court ordered Royal Dutch Shell to set deeper and faster emissions cuts targeting a 45 per cent reduction by 2030, while ExxonMobil, on the same day, was dealt a blow with an activist fund unseating three board members and installing green-leaning replacements instead.

In Australia, Santos and Woodside Petroleum have been facing renewed pressure from climate advocates over their plans to develop new gas fields off the coast of Australia due to the additional greenhouse gas emissions they would generate.

Santos recently gave the go-ahead to its $4.7 billion Barossa gas project north of Darwin after its plans were put on hold last year amid the coronavirus-driven market crash. Woodside and BHP, meanwhile, are targeting a final investment decision on their $15 billion Scarborough field off the coast of WA.

Shareholder activists at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) have described Barossa as a “carbon bomb”, with carbon dioxide content as high as 19 per cent.

Decades of aggressive marketing to Australians has led to several misconceptions about gas. In reality, gas is far from clean; it is a polluting fossil fuel that is already harming our health, wellbeing and, of course, the climate. With more gas in the mix, this risk of harm only increases.

This report is about Australia’s gas industry, the threat it poses to our health, and the way out: of kicking the gas habit for a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous future.

Kicking the Gas Habit

“This company is not committed to the Paris Agreement, but to climate chaos,” the group’s climate director Dan Gocher said.

“Institutional investors are demanding credible transition plans. Santos continues to fail on this measure.”

In WA, environmental groups have initiated legal action in the state’s Supreme Court seeking to overturn approvals already issued to Woodside for its Scarborough project, arguing regulators failed to sufficiently assess the impact on global warming.

The climate push against the industry could have significant implications for Australia, which counts liquefied natural gas (LNG) as one of its most valuable exports.

Gas firms say demand has been rebounding swiftly after collapsing last year amid global COVID-19 lockdowns, and forecast consumption to remain strong as Asian nations turn to the fossil fuel for a cheap, reliable and less-emitting alternative to coal.

“In fact, Australian liquefied natural gas is helping to reduce emissions in importing countries by about 170 million tonnes each year,” the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s Claire Wilkinson said.

In the longer term, however, the industry is facing deepening questions about the role of gas in a rapidly decarbonising world. Investors are voicing concerns about the fuel’s emissions footprint and the risk of new gas fields becoming stranded assets under the Paris agreement’s goals to slow global warming.

“We are Australia’s third-biggest export industry, bringing in around $50 billion in export income last year,” Mr Gallagher said on Monday.

“I am confident that APPEA and our members can continue to play a vital role in Australia’s future through to 2050 and beyond.“

— Read on www.theage.com.au/business/companies/climate-pressure-on-gas-sector-is-ramping-up-santos-boss-warns-20210614-p580y0.html

Electrify Everything

Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s