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A new report commissioned by the Australian Petroleum and Production Exploration Association has challenged claims by the Greens about the environmental merits of coal seam gas.
Officially released today, the report found emissions from CSG fired power were up to 87 per cent lower than that of coal.
It also found for every tonne of emissions associated with CSG, 4.3 tonnes were avoided when it was used instead coal in Chinese power generators.
It said a CSG-LNG project exporting 10 million tonnes of LNG per annum to China could avoid more than 37 million tonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions per year.
The APPEA said the study was independent and produced by engineering consultancy WorleyParsons.
The report compared the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of Australian CSG-LNG with black coal, from extraction and processing in Australia to power combustion in China.
The APPEA is one of the strongest business lobby groups promoting CSG, and is also behind the We Want CSG movement.
The report’s findings fly against comments made earlier this year by Greens leaders Bob Brown and Christine Milne.
Brown said proof of the environmental merits of CSG were “still very shaky” and Milne said Australia should move towards renewable energy instead of gas.
APPEA chief operating officer eastern Australia Rick Wilkinson said in a statement the study added further weight to the benefits of CSG that were ignored by activists.
“The Greens, and other anti-fossil fuel activists, have in recent times become blind to the science on gas’s greenhouse benefit,” he said.
“With around 80 per cent of Chinese electricity coming from coal, the release of this first full life-cycle analysis of CSG and its greenhouse gas emissions footprint clearly shows that using Australian gas to substitute for just some of that offers a significant and practical response to rising global emissions.”
Lock the Gate president Drew Hutton told The Australian today there was “plenty of research” to suggest the environmental damage of CSG and coal were comparable.
He said Australia should look toward developing renewable energy sources instead of focusing on the “dead-end” of gas.
Image: The Greens