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Project labelled environmentally ‘disastrous’ given go-ahead in Australia

Wodside's Pluto LNG Plant, onshore gas plant in Western Aystralia. Photo Source: Woodside - Media Library


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | NOVEMBER 24th 2021 


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had expressed delight when final investment approval was given to a major fossil fuel project in Australia – a project which green groups have repeatedly warned would be disastrous for the environment.

On Wednesday afternoon, PM Morrison told the senior members on the Business Council of Australia that he “did a bit of a jig” upon hearing the news that the energy giant Woodside had given the final approval on the $16.2bn Scarborough gas development project. A piece of news that had left plenty of the country’s environmentalists distraught.

Tom Ridsdill-Smith, the top climate executive at Woodside, however, countered the claims that the project is environmentally harmful and made the argument that it will ultimately serve to lower global pollution levels.

“The net result of this is helping the world reduce emissions,” Ridsdill-Smith told The Australian Financial Review. “The climate challenge in Asia is about displacing coal, and that can’t be done by renewables and nuclear alone, or by gas alone.”

He added: “You actually need to throw all of those technologies and options at it.”

Despite the claims that the project would only emit low carbon gasses as resultant emissions, there are plenty who disagree – such as the Conservation Council of Western Australia, which claimed that the project represents some of the most polluting and harmful fossil fuel development in the country.

“I did a bit of a jig out of the chamber the other day when minister [Keith] Pitt came up and confirmed to me that had taken place and Richard [Goyder, chairman of Woodside,] had been in contact,” said Australian PM Scott Morrison. 


He added: “I just could not be more thrilled about that. It is such a shot in the arm for the economy and it will power us into the future, and it is an enormous vote of confidence about what is happening here in Australia.”

Criticism towards Morrison and the project have been especially harsh given that the news comes not long after the COP26 climate meetings in Glasgow, where goals and targets had been discussed and set down for each country.

“I think it’s always important to be more ambitious, but it’s even more important to be able to deliver the outcomes,” said Mathias Cormann, Australia’s former finance minister who now serves as OECD secretarygeneral, in reference to climate action.

“And the outcome that we need the world to deliver is global netzero by 2050. And in that sense, we’ve got to continue to make decisions that help reduce the global problem, that don’t just shift the problem from one jurisdiction to other jurisdictions around the world,” he added.

According to Climate Council senior researcher Tim Baxter, there is absolutely no evidence to support Woodside’s claims that coal would be substituted.

“It’s a deeply irresponsible investment at a time we can ill-afford it,” said Baxter. “It is truly gargantuan, and it’s hard to underestimate how much of an additional burden this is on the global atmosphere. 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021 

Source: The Guardian, Financial Review, ABC News