Responding to climate change

Our sector supports the move to lower emissions and will be an important part of the solution.

Affordable and reliable energy will be essential during this transition to a more sustainable world. People need energy to live better lives - to power industry, heat homes, cook food and transport people and goods. 

The challenge is great because demand for energy is growing as the world’s population increases, economies develop and we become more urbanised. 

Renewable sources are rapidly growing but cannot keep up on their own, given they still only provide less than 15% of the world's total energy. This is why the International Energy Agency says that new oil and natural gas reserves will still need to be developed even to meet the two degree target set in Paris in 2015.  

The ways we use this energy are changing though. For example: 

  • Natural gas is replacing higher-emitting sources of energy (like coal) around the world, helping nations lower their emissions.
  • New gases with low or zero emissions are being developed that could use the existing natural gas infrastructure, like biogases and hydrogen.
  • New technologies like carbon capture storage are being adopted by users and producers of energy.
  • Natural gas enables renewable electricity by providing a reliable and affordable back-up for when demand is high and supply can’t keep up.
  • There are countless uses of oil and gas in everyday products like clothing, plastics and medical products which release no emissions.
  • Where there are no realistic or affordable alternatives yet to using oil or natural gas (e.g. air travel) this can be offset with tree planting.
  • Major energy users are improving their energy efficiency and looking at new fuel options.
  • Our local operators have set ambitious goals to slash the emissions they create in their daily operations.
  • Emissions are priced through the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which creates a financial incentive to lower emissions and develop new technologies. 

We strongly support reducing our emissions and think the Emissions Trading System (ETS) is by far the best way to do this.

By putting a direct price on emissions, it creates an incentive for people to lower emissions in the most affordable way. We think the ETS should be comprehensive and apply to all sectors so that we are all doing our part.

If we get the ETS right, very few other policies will be needed to meet our climate goals.

You can find out more about these issues in our publication "A Changing Role: The Future of Oil and Gas in a Lower Carbon World."

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