Australian Greens Senator Larissa Waters today welcomed the recognition by International Energy Agency (IEA) chief economist Fatih Birol that Australia’s current regulatory frameworks for the coal seam gas industry were lax and cause for concern.
“The comments by Mr Birol echo the deep concerns held by Australian farmers, communities and now a Senate inquiry, that the CSG industry has been allowed to jump ahead of proper scientific understanding of the risks it poses to our land, water and environment,” Senator Waters said.
“The IEA World Energy Outlook 2011 report recognises that the gas industry hasn’t yet reached ‘golden standards’ in dealing with environmental challenges.
“The report also identifies – despite industry claims about its low levels of greenhouse gas emissions – that increased use of gas alone won’t prevent dangerous climate change of more than 2 degrees rise in global temperatures.
“My two bills before the Senate, to give the Federal Government power to protect water from coal seam gas, and to give landholders the right to lock the gate against CSG, would ensure the risky CSG industry is held to higher standards.
“But even higher standards will not make coal seam gas the climate panacea – renewable energy is the real climate solution.”