7 October 2023

Government releases discussion paper to help determine its Future Gas Strategy

| Andrew McLaughlin
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North West Shelf LNG

Australia needs to reduce its reliance on gas if it is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Photo: Chevron.

The Federal Government has called for input to help it plan its Future Gas Strategy and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In launching the consultation paper announced in May’s Federal Budget, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said gas policy settings were important for Australia’s energy security, business and industry, the environment and local economies.

She said the results of the consultations would help government, industry and households make decisions about the future role of gas.

“The Future Gas Strategy will ensure Australia has the long-term policy clarity needed to support decisions across communities, industry and governments,” Minister King said.

“The role of gas will change as the world decarbonises – both in Australia’s energy mix and in the energy use of our trading partners.”

The consultation paper says the Future Gas Strategy will help provide medium (to 2035) and long-term (to 2050) planning for gas production and consumption in Australia, and seek to be flexible to promote resilience to future events and circumstances.

At present, about 21 per cent of Australia’s national net greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to gas production and use. The paper says while many of the 151 countries that have committed to achieve net zero by 2050 are reducing their reliance on gas as they scale up renewables, others are turning to gas to reduce their reliance on other fossil fuels.

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“We need to ensure gas demand decreases faster than supply through the energy transition,” Minister King said.

“Gas shortages, supply disruptions and high prices are among the consequences of reducing supply faster than demand. These consequences disproportionately impact those who can least afford them, worsening poverty and inequality.”

The paper says a long-term strategy to help governments, industries and communities make decisions is required, and the Future Gas Strategy will look to:

  • support decarbonisation by reaching a target of 43 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050;
  • promote Australia’s energy security and affordability;
  • maintain Australia’s trade relationships through the export of liquified natural gas (LNG); and
  • assist trade partners to achieve their own net-zero targets.

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Feedback is being sought from anyone with an interest in the role gas can play in the future, including gas producers, domestic and international consumers, distributors and LNG import terminal project proponents, and the wider community.

Topics for discussion will include how gas will affect Australia’s transition to net zero for electricity generation, domestic or small business use, and in manufacturing.

Views will also be welcomed on gas supply in the context of oil and gas regulation, carbon capture and storage, transportation and infrastructure, workforce and LNG facilities, and the domestic market.

The consultation paper can be found here.

Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.

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