The pollution from coal seam gas mining that drives global warming is likely to be at least double the current estimated levels, according to a new study released today by The Australia Institute.
This new information undermines the industry's claims to be a clean energy source and a transition fuel, and emphasises the need for Australia to move to established clean and renewable energy sources instead, such as wind and solar, which are already beginning to outcompete fossil fuels on pure economic grounds.
"Industry and governments have been justifying destroying prime agricultural land in Australia on the basis that coal seam gas pollutes less than coal. Today's report calls that into question once again," Australian Greens leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"Under pressure from the Greens, farmers and environmentalists, the government announced a review into how emissions from coal seam gas are measured some months ago. It now appears they are expanding that review to call for public submissions.
"The coal seam gas industry needs to account for the full price of its pollution as well as being held to account for the irreparable damage it causes to our agricultural land and communities."
"This report shows that the story we have been sold about coal seam gas being an appropriate transition fuel to renewables is a furphy," Australian Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.
"The Greens have always said that we need to press pause on CSG until the science has been done on its real impacts on water resources, farmland and the climate - now it appears that the Government has raced ahead on CSG based on a wrong assumption about its climate impact.
"The Greens are calling for a five year moratorium on coal seam gas, included in several amendments to the Government's bill for a CSG expert panel, to come before the Senate next week.
"With the future of our climate, our environment and our farming communities at stake, clearly we can't afford to make any more wrong guesses."