Media Releases

MEDIA STATEMENT: Current methane assessments way off mark

6 July 2020


 The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis Report released yesterday has shown a gross under-reporting of fugitive methane emissions from Australian mines, based on its analysis of the International Energy Agency’s satellite data published in its global methane tracker.

I have been warning the government about the under assessment and reporting of methane emissions, and my amendments to the Safeguard Mechanism called on government to address this by bringing Australia’s reporting on methane emissions from fossil fuel projects in line with global best practice on monitoring, reporting and verification.

If the Albanese Government fails to act on this warning, its emission reductions targets are useless.

As the 11th largest global methane emitter, Australia has a responsibility to be accurate in measuring its emissions. Having an accurate inventory of emissions is crucial for driving emissions and establish transparency for all Australians impacted by the climate crisis.

10% of Australia’s emissions are fugitive emissions, so emissions from leaks and lack of measurement are undermining everyone’s efforts to transition to Net Zero. Why is the government letting a few dirty lazy multinationals blow out emissions and placing greater pressure on others to pick-up the slack?

To that end, it’s crucial the NGER Act Review include that methane emissions be measured, reported and independently verified. Coal, oil and gas companies operating in Australia must be required to accurately measure their methane pollution, not just rely on vague estimates.

Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas. Some 26 to 28 times more effective at trapping heat over its life. However alarmingly, over a 20-year period, methane has more than 80 times the warming power of CO2.

Cutting fossil fuel methane emission is the single fastest, cheapest and most effective way to curb global warming over the next 10 years.

What the world does now to address methane emissions will have a significant impact on the state of our climate. We need real measurements and public reporting as a matter of urgency.  

Read my submission to the Climate Change Authority’s consultation re Setting, tracking and achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets.