Australia’s LNG exports lowering global emissions – Minister
Australia’s natural gas exports have helped to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, with Energy Minister Angus Taylor last week reporting that national emissions were 14.2% below the peak recorded in the year to June 2007 and 11.9% below emissions in 2005.
The ‘December Quarterly Update of Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory’ reported that strong growth in Australia’s emissions-intensive traded commodities more than accounted for this outcome, including growth in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, steel production and aluminium exports.
“Australia’s total LNG exports have the potential to lower emissions in importing countries by around 148-million tonne CO2e in 2018 by displacing coal consumption in those countries,” Taylor said.
“While emissions increases from the rapid growth of LNG exports are included in Australia’s emissions in the report, the success of this industry means that it has potentially reduced global emissions by up to 27% of Australia’s annual emissions in the year to December 2018.
“This is a substantial global contribution to be proud of. The government is not going to trash successful Australian export industries that are reducing global emissions, in order to reduce Australian emissions,” the Minister said.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association CEO Andrew McConville said this key contribution of Australia’s LNG industry was not always recognised in the broader energy debate.
“The global appetite for energy is growing, with more than 1.1-billion people still lacking access to electricity. Substituting LNG for more emissions-intensive fuels allows importing countries to satisfy growing demand while reducing emissions,” McConville said.
“When replacing other fuels, LNG can cut emissions by around 50%. LNG also helps developing countries to reduce air pollution, a major cause of millions of premature deaths.”
Australia’s LNG export earnings are expected to increase by 62% to A$50.2-billion in 2018/19 and are forecast to reach A$52.6-billion in 2019/20.