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Pages tagged "methane"

Many countries are tackling methane emissions head on - but Australia risks falling behind.

In the lead up to COP 28, China and the EU have announced major methane policies.

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Labor's Safeguard Mechanism climate scheme could give millions of dollars to 10 major coal mines for doubling their emissions.

A new report from Lock The Gate Alliance has revealed Labor's safeguard mechanism policy will pay 10 coal mines to INCREASE their emissions by more than double. This is utter hypocrisy.

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New IEEFA report urgently recommends more ambitious methane targets

A recent report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has shed light on the concerning underreporting of methane emissions by coal and gas companies in Australia.

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Australia’s mining methane is 60% higher than the amount we report to the UNFCCC, accord to the International Energy Agency’s Global Methane Tracker Report.

Australia’s mining methane is 60% higher than the amount we report to the UNFCCC, accord to the International Energy Agency’s Global Methane Tracker Report.

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Tackling Australia’s Coal Mine Methane Problem

The IEA estimated that Australian coal mines emitted 1.8 million tonnes of methane in 2021, double the officially reported figures. Independent satellite measurements have also uncovered underreporting of methane emissions from Australian coal mines.

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Greenhouse emissions from Australia’s coalmines could be twice as high as official figures say

Ember thinktank report based on IEA estimate suggests coal contributes more to climate crisis than all the cars on Australian roads. 

Twice as much greenhouse gas could be leaking from Australian coalmines than is being reported in official government accounts, according to a new report using data from the International Energy Agency.

The report by Ember, a UK-based energy thinktank, said the IEA had recently increased its estimate of Australia’s methane emissions from coalmines by 59% after receiving new evidence from satellites monitoring the Bowen Basin in Queensland.

Methane is a potent but short-lived greenhouse gas – with 82 times the atmospheric heating power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period – and increasingly a focus of global efforts to deal with the climate crisis. The US, the EU and Indonesia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, were among more than 100 countries that last year pledged to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030, but the Morrison government chose not to join the commitment.

The Ember report said the new increased estimate of Australia’s coalmine methane emissions suggested it was a greater contributor to the climate crisis than all cars on the country’s roads. It illustrated the need for rapid action to deal with the problem, which it described as the “low hanging fruit” of combating climate change.

The report said the best way to deal with the issue was to phase out coal, starting with stopping new coal developments and phasing out the gassiest mines while supporting affected workers and communities.

It found there was a wide divergence between the dirtiest and least emitting mines. Fifteen mines accounted for 50% of reported emissions from coalmining while producing just 10% of coal.

The report said there was enormous uncertainty about global coalmine methane volumes, with the possibility they were about 70% higher than reported in official data. Many estimates were based on desk research, extrapolating from how much coal is mined. In reality, emissions vary between coal seams and mines.

The IEA, which draws its estimates from several sources, already had a higher estimate of Australia’s coalmine methane emissions than official reports, and recently increased it further to 1.8m tonnes last year compared with 0.9m tonnes in Australian government data. It followed the release of satellite data from over the Bowen Basin, Queensland’s major coalmining region, that suggested carbon pollution in the area could be 10 times higher that desk assessments.

“Failing to address direct methane emissions poses a risk to trade relationships with countries like Japan and South Korea, which, unlike Australia, have signed the global methane pledge,” she said. “China has also announced a methane action plan, aimed at cutting methane emissions in major industries, including coalmining.”

The report said important first steps included a comprehensive overhaul of monitoring, reporting and verification to improve emissions data, and the introduction of industry standards that required capture and use of methane and banned venting into the atmosphere.

“Australia is falling behind in a race it could be winning,” Assan said. “The technology exists, but companies are not incentivised to deploy it. It is up to the Australian government to legislate a robust and well thought out plan to rapidly reduce easy-to-tackle leaks in the short term and jump-start a just transition to phase out coal.”

Adam Morton, The Guardian, 8 June 2022

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Ember Report

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