With the Paris Agreement on climate change in force from today, it is timely to recognise the pivotal role natural gas will play in the transition to a low-carbon economy, both in Australia and around the world.

APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said modelling by independent experts, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Climate Change Authority, shows that substituting gas for more emissions-intensive fuels is essential to achieving climate change targets.

The IEA’s most recent projections of world primary energy demand forecast that global demand for gas will increase to 2040. Modelling for the Climate Change Authority indicates that the least-cost way to achieve Australia’s 2030 emissions target involves tripling gas-fired generation output.

“Natural gas is a cleaner fuel that is helping to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr Roberts said.

“Australia’s liquefied natural gas exports are replacing fuels that have far higher emissions.

“This means natural gas has a key role to play as Australia and the world makes the transition to a cleaner energy future.”

Dr Roberts said it is important that the Paris goals are pursued at the lowest possible cost to the economy.

“APPEA supports a national climate change policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions at least cost and facilitates investment decisions consistent with an international price on carbon,” he said.

“We look forward to a constructive dialogue with governments during the 2017 Review of Australia’s climate change policies, to ensure our natural gas resources can continue to generate significant additional national economic, environmental and social benefits.

“Using more natural gas in Australia’s power generation and resource processing would significantly enhance the nation’s ability to meet increasing energy needs and reduce emissions.

“Gas-fired electricity generation is the only technology that combines reliability and rapid ramp-up times to complement intermittent renewable energy technologies.

“Australia’s abundant natural gas resources put us in an enviable position to deliver long term, cleaner energy domestically and across the Asia Pacific. Our growing LNG exports offer the world a cleaner energy source while also generating jobs, economic growth and taxation revenues here at home.

“It is crucial that any climate change policy recognises this.”

For more information, see APPEA’s Climate Change Policy Principles.

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Kieran Murphy
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Email: kmurphy@appea.com.au