The Guardian • Issue #2029


End fossil fuels!

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2029

It appears as though climate action has a new, unlikely support from Santos CEO Kevin Gallagher!

Speaking to an Australian business community event in London, Gallagher spoke about the energy crisis gripping Europe. According to him, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict — which has seen Ukraine become upset over Russia circumventing the state with its new pipeline — merely added to an incredibly serious energy problem in Europe, stating: “The supply constraints we’re seeing were already being felt prior to the Russian invasion […]. […] While the war in Ukraine has inflamed the issue, the structural and policy issues were there long before the war began.”

Leaving aside Gallagher’s downplaying of the role the conflict has had on European energy supplies, Gallagher believes that the situation in Europe is a reason why we need be careful about our transitions, particularly how we transition, further stating:

“we need investment in both new supply to support our existing energy system as well as the decarbonisation projects that will enable an orderly transition, rather than the chaos we are seeing today. And to all those people who call for an end to fossil fuels – they are just adding to the problem, as that’s only going to delay decarbonisation. The future must be about decarbonisation, not de-fossilisation.”

In other words: “We need to continue destroying the environment to dig up bones to turn into a slightly lower carbon dioxide emissions” — absolutely genius idea!

What makes this an even more genius idea is how terrible Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) — the process by which gas would be delivered — has been, particularly in Australia. Chevron’s Gorgon CCS project in Western Australia has been a colossal failure, by its own admission in its latest environmental report falling short of capturing and storing eighty per cent of CO2 produced. This is particularly embarrassing given “that Gorgon involves literally the simplest, lowest-cost, easiest form of CCS there is — taking CO2 that’s already been captured as part of the process of extracting gas from the gas field, and pumping it back underground” (Crikey).

It is therefore fairly inconceivable that the technology to significantly reduce emissions will be there particularly when we need responses to climate change now. That is to say we are beyond the point where CCS is a viable option and our governments need to be focusing on funding projects that are scaling up our renewable sector, alongside training and retraining for those currently in the energy sector.

Australia could rebuild its manufacturing sector, alongside future-proof jobs, if it seriously committed to ending new coal projects. Not doing so is dooming our planet and our future.

We must continue to pressure the Albanese government to put an end to fossil fuels!

The Guardian can also be viewed/downloaded in PDF format. View More