Allowing onshore gas exploration in Victoria is a dangerous step backwards in addressing climate risk, Victoria’s peak environment body has said, with any new gas projects serving only to lock in the burning of more polluting fossil fuels.
Environment Victoria CEO Jono La Nauze said the Victorian Government’s decision to lift the state’s ban on onshore gas exploration and focus on exploiting new gas supplies is irresponsible after the risks of our changing climate were horrifically laid bare over summer.
“It’s incredible that after our horror bushfire season any government would now encourage new fossil fuel projects,” said Mr La Nauze. “Lifting this ban will increase greenhouse gas emissions and expose Victorians to greater risks from fires, heatwaves and drought.
“It is well past time for any talk of drilling more gas. We’d like to hear the Premier start talking about how quickly we can shift to cleaner energy.
“If the government is concerned about tight gas supplies, where is their plan to reduce gas demand? Their focus on just adding new supplies turns a blind eye to both the climate crisis we are in and the new clean technologies that are making gas obsolete.
“Renewable electricity is now the cheapest and cleanest way to warm your home and produce hot water, and yet the Premier has no serious plan for helping households and businesses upgrade.
“The Andrews government has just joined a long line of successive governments putting the profits of the gas cartel ahead of the interests of Victorian households and business.
“Gas exploration and new gas projects would lock in the burning of fossil fuels in Victoria for the next twenty or thirty years. It’s unnecessary, irresponsible, and a betrayal of all who have touched by the dangers of climate change.
“It is critical the Premier come clean with Victorians on how he plans to reduce Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.”
Jono La Nauze, Environment Victoria CEO
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