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Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning

  • May 20 2021
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Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning

By Cameron Micallef
May 20 2021

The International Energy Agency has found that countries like Australia need to transition their energy grid within 14 years to reach net zero, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s gas-led economic recovery.

Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning

Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning

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  • May 20 2021
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The International Energy Agency has found that countries like Australia need to transition their energy grid within 14 years to reach net zero, defying Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s gas-led economic recovery.

Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning

Australian politicians are being urged to abandon new coal, gas and oil investments after a major report found that Australia must end its expansion now as part of the world’s solution to net zero emissions. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously outlined his vision for a gas-led economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that the cheap and reliable power will help boost the economy.

Under the proposal, the government would avoid any supply shortfalls in the gas markets as well as unlock five key gas basins to ‘reset the gas market and create a more competitive and transparent gas hub’.

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As part of the government’s gas-led recovery, it announced on 18 May that it would spend an additional $600 million on a new Kurri Kurri gas plant in NSW Hunter Valley. 

In a statement, Energy Minister Angus Taylor noted the plant would secure reliable and affordable energy for NSW, following the closure of the Liddell power station. 

“Cheap power is crucial to ensuring families, businesses and job-creating industries in NSW can thrive, which is why we are committed to replacing the energy generated by Liddell to keep prices down,” Mr Taylor said.

“This project will deliver flexible gas generation to replace Liddell and maintain reliable power alongside Australia’s world-leading investment in renewables.”

However, a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that in order for the world to reach net zero, progressive economies such as Australia will need to reach net zero by 2035.

While not telling Australia to completely abandon its gas, the report found that increasing global demand for low‐carbon hydrogen in the net zero emissions (NZE) provides a means for countries to export renewable electricity resources that could not otherwise be exploited.

“For example, Chile and Australia announced ambitions to become major exporters in their national hydrogen strategies. With declining demand for natural gas in the NZE, gas‐producing countries could join this market by exporting hydrogen produced from natural gas with carbon capture, utilisation and storage,” the report said. 

The Climate Council of Australia’s head of research, Simon Bradshaw, described it as yet another nail in the coffin for fossil fuels.

“Instead of spending public money on gas, which will increase electricity prices and worsen climate change, Australia can and should be working towards net zero emissions by 2035, and capitalising on the benefits of leading the global transition to renewables,” said Mr Bradshaw.

The report, titled IEA’s Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, outlines how the transition to net zero can create 14 million new jobs by 2030, almost three times more than the jobs that will be lost as fossil fuels decline.

“The IEA’s pathway to this brighter future brings a historic surge in clean energy investment that creates millions of new jobs and lifts global economic growth,” Fatih Birol, the IEA executive director, said.

“Moving the world onto that pathway requires strong and credible policy actions from governments, underpinned by much greater international cooperation.”

Australia’s Climate Council agrees, highlighting how Australia is uniquely positioned to benefit from an energy transition.

“As one of the sunniest and windiest countries on earth, Australia has everything we need to be a global renewable energy superpower and create good jobs in new clean energy industries,” said Mr Bradshaw.

“While states and territories are getting on with job-creating clean energy projects that reduce emissions and electricity bills, the federal government has its head in the sand,” he concluded. 

Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning
Morrison urged to drop gas-led recovery after new global warning
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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