As Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen delivers the second Annual Climate Change Statement, which shows Australia is on track to cut emissions by 42 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, Greenpeace Australia Pacific has urged the government to ditch the coal, oil, and gas projects holding back climate progress, and accelerate the delivery of strong Fuel Efficiency Standard legislation. 

School Strikers at Loy Yang A Power Station in Victoria. © Dale Cochrane / Greenpeace
© Dale Cochrane / Greenpeace

“The Albanese government has made great strides forward in delivering what Australia needs – an ambitious roll-out of clean, affordable and reliable energy that will also reduce emissions, but this good work is hugely undermined by its refusal to stop new fossil fuel projects that will spew out billions of tonnes of emissions,” said David Ritter, CEO, Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, and we have the skilled people and resources to smash our 43% emissions reduction target while becoming a renewable energy superpower. But fossil fuels are slowing us down in the race to cut emissions at the speed and scale demanded by science, and future-proof our economy.

“An immediate step the Federal Government should take to avert climate disaster is to stop Woodside’s Burrup Hub, Australia’s biggest climate threat, which is projected to emit 6.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over its proposed 50-year lifetime.

“The Climate Change Statement comes as COP28 kicks off, where Australia and other major polluters will rightly come under significant pressure to stop approving new coal and gas projects in order to preserve a chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. If Australia wants to be taken seriously as a climate leader, it simply cannot greenlight more fossil fuels,” said Mr Ritter.

Lindsay Soutar, head of Electrify, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said: “The Federal Government’s Climate Change Statement would show better progress if Transport Minister Catherine King had not dragged her feet on delivering much-needed legislation on a Fuel Efficiency Standard.

“Transport is the third largest source of emissions in Australia, and every day that we do not have legislation to limit emissions from polluting vehicles, we are locking in decades of avoidable pollution, while Australians miss out on millions of dollars of savings,” said Ms Soutar.

The second annual Climate Change Statement comes as two new pieces of analysis released by Greenpeace Australia Pacific this week show that $10.1bn could have been saved by motorists had a Fuel Efficiency Standard been introduced back in 2016—the figure is rising by $105/second—and that Woodside’s Burrup Hub is Australia’s biggest climate threat, emitting 6.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over its proposed 50-year lifetime.