Climate Council welcomes unconventional gas ban

The Climate Council has congratulated the Victorian Government for becoming the first state in Australia to put a blanket ban on onshore unconventional gas mining.

Professor Will Steffen said unconventional gas is worse from a climate perspective than traditional gas and in some cases, even worse than coal, because of the ‘fugitive emissions’ of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, associated with the extraction process.

“We need to leave over half of the known commercially viable conventional gas sources in the ground if we are to limit global warming to less than 2°C. This means gas needs to contract and phase out, not expand,” he said.

“We congratulate the Victorian Government for recognising that tackling climate change and protecting Victoria’s future does not lie in simply switching from one fossil fuel to another.”

Professor Steffen said he hopes to see other states and territories following Victoria’s lead so Australian energy networks can focus on smoothing the transition to renewable energy systems, including large-scale and distributed energy storage facilities and more connected grids.